Starting 2014 for STREDC

By Dave Sherry

January 16, 2014 Updated Jan 16, 2014 at 8:01 PM EDT

Vestal, N.Y. (WBNG Binghamton) The Regional Economic Development Council has, once again, awarded one of it's largest grants to the Southern Tier Region.

Thursday, Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy met with area politicians and officials at Binghamton University, where they discussed the success of the past two years and plans for the year ahead.

A major topic of discussion was business incubators in Binghamton, Corning and Ithaca.

The three facilities will work together as a joint resource, each with an expertise tied to, but not limited to, the area's strengths.

"It's elevated our agricultural sector to the place it really deserves to be and also the technology transfer by cooperating across a number of industries," Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said. "It's a wonderful thing to watch."

"I believe these relationships will keep on growing and probably provide fruit down the road that will last for perhaps even decades because you're really starting a culture, a system of people pulling together and it really is making a difference," Duffy added.

Binghamton's incubator will have a stronger focus on health and energy sciences, Corning's incubator is geared more toward materials like glass and ceramics, and Ithaca's will be known for agriculture and life sciences.

"We have to look at where do we want to go as a community? What kinds of things do we want to continue to develop, whether it's in high technology, whether it's in healthcare and I think the focus has been very good here," Senator Thomas Libous explained.

"The fact that we're all going to share those ideas as they come forward is the power here," Harvey Stenger, Co-Chairman of the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council and president of Binghamton University, said. "We've got huge education institutions, huge corporations and some customized facilities in those three locations. I think that's going to be the strength of it."

The council has not yet decided which projects will receive a share of this year's state funding, which is nearly $82 million.

They're open to ideas from the public. Just submit them to your local municipality or your county.

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