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From the editor's desk: Who are we?

We're the Innovation Trail, a collaboration between five public media outlets in upstate New York. We're looking at New York's "innovation economy" and reporting about the connections between investment and education, politics and people, technology and geography, as the state attempts to pull its economy up by its bootstraps. What does that actually mean? Our reporters are looking for - and finding - innovation everywhere. Here's what's coming down the pike.

Daniel Robison at WNED in Buffalo, has a story coming up about how Catholic schools are placing solar panels on their roofs. It's supposed to save them big on their energy bills, but the state and a solar vendor who pitched the idea to the schools picked up the tab. Is there a connection between Catholicism and solar energy? Turns out, yeah actually, there is.

Emma Jacobs at WSKG in Binghamton has two stories coming soon. The first looks at how a small company (a purveyor of a marinated meat that I am assured is a local delicacy) is adapting. In the post-IBM world, there's not as much foot traffic at the meat counter. But as Big Blue itself has learned, you have to change if you want to keep up. The second story looks at how volunteer engineers are working to come up with the funds (and exhibits) for a sort of museum of obsolete technology. We'll take you on a tour.

Dan Bazile at WMHT in Albany is working on the television companion to a radio piece that launched earlier this summer about the state senate's "chief information officer." It turns out the guy is a former NASA employee - so it begs the question, does it really take a rocket scientist to fix Albany?

Ryan Morden at WRVO in Oswego has a piece about ethanol production at a former beer plant in Fulton, NY coming up. He's also working on a video companion that explains how ethanol is made. Cheers to that!

And last but not least, Zack Seward at WXXI in Rochester is working on the story that we've been calling "mysterious Galloo Island" around the office. What's so mysterious? We'll let him explain it tomorrow when he hits us with an update about that story. In the meantime he's trying to get some insight into Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's "innovation agenda." She's holding a "showcase" in Washington tomorrow, featuring a bunch of New York-based companies.

What do you want to see from the Innovation Trail? Let us know in the comments. Best, Rachel