After three years of success at the Regional Economic Development Awards, members of the Southern Tier Council have a lot on their plate. They met Thursday to check in on current projects and awards and also to look toward the future. Our Elyse Mickalonis was there and has more on what this means for the Southern Tier.
VESTAL, N.Y. -- After taking home big money at the Regional Economic Development Awards in December, the people who worked hard to win $81.9 million for eight counties met Thursday to talk details.
"We've managed to leverage the interest of so many of the important areas, whether it's Corning, Cornell or Binghamton University and it's made us better for it,” said Donna Lupardo, Assembly, Endwell.
Robert Duffy, Lt. Governor, added, "This is the second year in a row they have won the top prize for the state. This is a terrific team. You can sit in this meeting and see why they won."
On Thursday, the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council reviewed the status of Round 1 and Round 2 projects. They also looked at the Round 3 awards that were won December and the projects that those funds will benefit, such as the Southern Tier Innovation Hot Spot, a business start-up incubator network that's made up of Cornell University, Binghamton University and the Ceramics Corridor Innovation Center at Painted Post.
"The Corning area one, very strong in glass and ceramics, they’re going to focus on materials, raw materials, the Cornell one they're strengths are in agriculture and life sciences and will be the feature up there. Ours will be energy and smart systems,” said Harvey Stenger, Binghamton University President.
And with all that work ahead of them, the council is also starting to tackle their future plan, what they’ll focus on in 2014.
"Now we have the challenge of the next round. We have to look at where we want to go as a community, what kinds of things do we want to continue to develop whether its hi-tech, healthcare and I think the focus has been very good here,” said Tom Libous, Senate, Binghamton.
Stenger added, "If I had to put a plea out to people, we really need some ideas that are show-stoppers, stars and we don't have those yet. It's a long process, we've got six or seven months to develop them. This year the theme was getting this innovation hot spot. We did that, we have to build on that success."
The council hopes to keep brainstorming ideas and bring home more money to better the Southern Tier after the next round.