Testimony Before Governor's Task Force

Skorton_Paterson_Feb.-3

NYSHEI Executive Director Jason Kramer recently testified before Governor Paterson’s Task Force on Diversifying The New York State Economy Through Industry-Higher Education Partnerships.   Meeting at the City College of New York, CUNY, the Task Force heard from twenty experts on the economic advantages of enhanced cooperation between the academic and commercial sectors.

During his testimony Mr. Kramer stressed the importance of an information infrastructure to the “innovation economy” sought by Governor Paterson and other policy makers.  To this end, Mr. Kramer urged the Task Force to support ARIA.  A sample of Mr. Kramer’s testimony is below.

In 2006, the director of NYSTAR said “universities are situated in the crossroads of research, education and innovation.  It is vital that knowledge flows from universities into business and society.”

In 2007, the A.T. Kearney report commissioned by Empire State Development stated that New York needs a “unified statewide economic growth engine fueled by the development of a high-technology infrastructure.  Such an infrastructure can be created through the combined efforts of the state, ESD, businesses, investors and the academic and research communities.”

In 2008, the National Governor’s Association, in association with the Pew Center on the States, issued a report on innovation that declared that successful states must “develop a statewide research and innovation strategy” that makes wise investments (as opposed to massive investments) and develops the states pre-existing strengths.

This month the Center for an Urban Future released a report on “Building New York City’s Innovation Economy.”  This report states that while academic research institutions are important “economic anchors” they have “never served as a major source of growth,” and that it is “unrealistic” to expect big rewards from these institutions “under status quo conditions.”  However, as the report states, “the moment is perfect for such an effort.”

I urge this Task Force to lend further credibility to this movement and endorse the underlying concept behind ARIA, that is, to strengthen our academic and research libraries in a coordinated fashion thereby expanding resources, lowering budgets, and providing access to scores of researchers and small businesses.

The full testimony is available here.