From the Editor: What Next for Tech Valley

The Chamber Young Professional Network had a discussion about what the future of Tech Valley may be. A Panel that included Kevin O’Connor and Shelby Snyder discussed where Tech Valley came from including when Wally Altes who headed the Chamber of Commerce in Albany declared this region to be Tech Valley, a new Silicon Valley. Since then we have been a wannabe with success and failures. At one time the State tried to attract a chip fab to be located in Green Island. The local residents didn’t like that idea and it failed. But nonetheless we got Global Foundaries located in Malta. Alan Kaloyeros drove the building of a nano tech school initially part of the University at Albany. It sprang up with scores of clean rooms and ultimately ultimately a consortium of semi-conductor companies that New York State had tried once before to attract but lost out to Austin, Texas. A significant portion of the consortium ultimately moved to the nano campus until Kaloyeros was indicted by the Federal Government and he ended up in limbo that seems to endlessly continue-no trial, no decision and from what I hear lots of tennis in Schenectady. The nano college has since been cut off from UAlbany and merged with SUNY in Utica to become a 2 campus Politecnic Institute. UAlbany is trying to make itself into a tech college by various steps including creating an engineering school which is a basic necessity for a tech university. Also, needless to say, RPI has been a tech college for about two hundred years.

Briefly stated, this region has a lot of tech related assets, yet it is still broken up, fragmented and parochial with many tech job gaps like coding and lack of funding to foster and grow startups.