The new growth in the Capital Region begins the old fashioned way, with a good idea.
"It's the R&D capacity," says David Rooney, Senior Vice President, Business Development and Marketing at the Center for Economic Growth in Albany.
Ideas created and tested by some of the best minds in the world, backed by both public and private funds like the $14 billion pumped into the Nano-Tech Complex at Ualbany.
"It is the finest in the world. we are extremely fortunate and very opportunistic in how we try to leverage that," says Rooney.
Working with atoms at facilities like this form the nucleus for a whole lot more activity. The Capital Region has mastered the economic development concept called clustering.
"Having a set of resources, these can be corporations or academic institutions that can feed off each other within a certain proximity," says Rooney.
A map from the Center for Economic Growth shows us the impact of the cluster concept. We begin with the research and development facilities like GE. Then we add in the sites like the Luther Forest Tech Park. Next, the facilities that develop nanotechnolgy. Then, there's the biotechnology and live sciences sector and the plants that work with advanced materials, such as GlobalFoundries. Clean energy is another key cluster as is information technology.
Put them all together and you have quite a cluster with these entities feeding off each other spurring even more growth, including their suppliers which are all over the map, each one creating jobs.
"It creates opportunities for people living here to grow here and creates opportunities for them for the rest of their lives," says Rooney.
Economic Developers like David Rooney say the Capital Region hasn't see this kind of growth since the post World War II era and it will bring opportunities we haven't seen in generations, "As the region grows and as these companies in different industries continue to grow here, we are bringing in people from outside the region who have different experiences and from different cultures."
Rooney says that will only enrich the Capital Region and make it stronger.