Welcome to the Spring Issue of the Innovation E-Review.

On April 15th, the New York State Science and Technology Law Center and the New York Academy of Sciences hosted a conference titled: Building Human Capital to Drive New York’s Innovation Economy. Representatives from universities, venture capital funds, government, and industry lead discussions on the best way to develop and maintain a professional base with the skills necessary to meet the demands of innovation as an economic development mechanism. 

The conference evolved from the common misperception that investment in research at universities will translate directly to businesses, jobs, and economic development.  However, this transformation does not happen without experienced “human capital”, e.g. entrepreneurs, investors, engineers, marketers, prototype builders, financial analysts, and lawyers. These professionals are just as necessary for companies to succeed as the researchers and engineers who develop technologies.

This focus of this issue is on some of the New York State educational programs structured to develop new generations of individuals with the skills to carry on technology commercialization. It looks at investment and how the rigors of a knowledgeable investment firm help insure the success of technology commercialization projects by insuring necessary elements are present. New York State is working to develop regions capable of fostering technology commercialization through a strong network among universities, industry, investors, and commercialization specialists in economic development regions. Two challenges from the conference were: How, as a state, is growth and development best fostered? And how is the network of individuals available and willing to assist in this important endeavor best connected?

 We’d like to thank Chris Hayter of The New York Academy of Sciences for supporting the conference, and Ken Adams, CEO of Empire State Development for speaking and supporting the NYS STC along with Ed Reinfurt of NYSTAR.  

Many thanks to all the speakers for their excellent contributions: Howard Morgan, ofFirst Round CapitalJames Spencer, Director of Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteEmerging Ventures Ecosystems, Bruce Kingma, Associate Provost for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Syracuse University, Greg Gdowski, Executive Director of the Center for Medical Technology & Innovation at the University of Rochester, Mary Twiss, Project Consultant for Shipley Center for Innovation atClarkson UniversityRajit Manohar, Associate Dean of Cornell NYC Tech, and Keith M. Gottesdiener, CEO, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Lilian Wu, Program Executive of Global University Programs for IBM Technology Strategy and Innovation, Brian Model of Stonehenge Growth Capital and UVANY, and Martin Babinec, founder of Upstate Venture Connect.

Audio and images from the conference will be available on the website soon. 

As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments at nysstlc@law.syr.edu.