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Cuomo tours Mohawk Valley on eve of grants

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Cuomo tours Mohawk Valley on eve of grants
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The Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Council is the latest regional group putting their best foot forward for the governor. Governor Andrew Cuomo toured the valley looking at possibilities for the second round of strategic economic development grants. Our Andrew Sorensen tells what new developments the region might see from the funds and what Cuomo sees for the future of the area's economy.

ROME, N.Y. -- With future funding on the line, the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council is trying to prove themselves to Governor Cuomo. They're showcasing this year's progress with $60.2 million in grant funding.

"I think there's a different energy, there's optimism, there's a much more positive outlook,' Cuomo said.

The MVREDC is trying to show off technology advancements to get a larger share of this year's $762 million in available funds.

"We have very significant cyber and nano assets. Today, we want to build on that because we want to create advanced manufacturing, high value manufacturing," MVREDC Executive Director Kent Tompkins explained.

The governor seems to be keen on that same idea. His visit Wednesday started at the Griffiss Institute in Rome, where they highlighted areas from defense technology to green energy, but the main focus was on nanotechnology.

"Which is an industry that the state has spent years and years developing but has really come to fruition and has great potential," Cuomo said.

They even stopped by the potential Marcy nanotech site, which took a blow this year after the Army Corps of Engineers halted further talks of development.

"There are some issues with the federal government and to the extent that we can be helpful and advocate. We plan on doing just that," the governor said.

But one aide said the Army Corps' denial was only for the lack of a specific plan, something he said should be smoothed out by further nano-development in the area.

But the governor said the most important stage of the day is when the region makes its case to a board of state commissioners on why they should get continued, or even extra funding.

MVREDC Co-Chair Wolf Yeigh said, "These presentations will be very important, and we're going to put our best topics and proposals and the best show out there for everybody to see."

MVREDC leadership says they're basing their pitch around big ideas like major nanotech developments in the future to try to increase their slice of the pie.

The Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council also showcased work done with grants for education, micro-enterprise and even a grant for digitizing every item in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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