Partnership will harness assets of North Country institutions to form a world-class biotech R&D enterprise, spur the commercialization process and drive new opportunities in the industry
Albany, NY (November 20, 2013)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a partnership between New York State, Clarkson University, and the Trudeau Institute to form a world-class biotech enterprise and further establish the region as a premier center of biotechnology research and development.
Clarkson University, a nationally-ranked private university in Potsdam, and the Trudeau Institute, a world-renowned center for immunological research in Saranac Lake, have separately led the region in high-tech research: Trudeau in immunology and infectious disease, Clarkson in engineering, science, and entrepreneurship. Working together, the two institutions have the capacity to cover the full spectrum of biotechnology and dramatically energize the research to commercialization biotech product process. The initiative will attract new investment, save more than 80 jobs at the Trudeau Institute, and encourage the commercialization of new technologies that will lead to creation of new companies and bring hundreds of jobs to the North Country.
“New York State has a major asset in both Clarkson University and in the Trudeau Institute and we must harness these strengths to continue to strengthen our innovation economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “This transformational partnership will allow for the best and brightest minds to collaborate and undertake world-class research and development, building the region into a global leader in the biotech industry and driving new opportunities and jobs in Northern New York."
New York State will invest up to $35 million over five years to support the R&D efforts between Clarkson and Trudeau, including establishing and coordinating scientific research and expanding education and technology-based economic development. These activities include research into the use of fine particles for medicine, pharmacy, biotech, nanotech and bioengineering programs at Clarkson and extend to additional areas such as instrumentation and devices, and other biomedical engineering initiatives in the North Country that would not be possible by either institution acting on its own.
Clarkson University President Tony Collins said, “Clarkson’s research portfolio is accelerating in biotech and health sciences, and utilizes an interdisciplinary model that frequently brings faculty and industry together to solve complex problems and find practical solutions. For example, faculty members in our Center for Advanced Materials Processing are actively involved in the development of innovative drug delivery systems using our deep understanding of the chemical composition of new medications. Together, Trudeau and Clarkson have an opportunity to transform the body of scientific knowledge that will emerge through collaboration as well as bring direct benefit to the North Country’s economy through technology-based innovation and new educational opportunities.”
Ronald H. Goldfarb, President, Director & CEO of the Trudeau Institute, said, “This infusion of funding over the next five years provides the momentum we need for stabilizing Trudeau and fast-tracks full implementation of a new business plan for the Trudeau Institute including translational research and new applications for our discoveries. Enhancing our relationship with Clarkson University will synergize initiatives between our respective, talented faculties. Both institutions will be better positioned to seek corporate and private funding as well as large government grants. This relationship will also enhance commercial productivity; joint programs in the nanotech/pharmacy/biomedical engineering, instrumentation/devices biomedical and life sciences will stimulate private sector growth and ensure that this initiative is self-sustaining. From my perspective as a former Manager of Drug Discovery and Development at Pfizer, Inc. and having been a Co-Founder, President and CEO of Sopherion Therapeutics, a biotech/biopharmaceutical company in the cancer space, I am confident that this joint effort will facilitate commercial research and discovery in the North Country."
This partnership will build the capabilities of both organizations to bring their extensive academic, clinical, federal and corporate networks together to expand translational research, support the North Country’s emerging biotech cluster, and take products from the laboratory to the clinic and into commercialization, all of which is envisioned to generate high paying jobs in the North Country.
The two entities have a long history of collaboration and partnership with Clarkson faculty serving on the scientific advisory board for Trudeau Institute and research collaboration between faculty at each institution that has also enriched graduate student and postdoctoral education and research.
Funding will provide for operational costs and lab improvements at Trudeau and Clarkson, and allow for the implementation of new programs that will assure financial sustainability, particularly for Trudeau, which has historically depended on government and foundation-based funding of grants to support its research and affiliated operations. In addition, the collaboration between Clarkson and Trudeau would foster interactions with various programs at other universities to spur further opportunities for the North Country.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, “Governor Cuomo has made ensuring New York State’s competitiveness in the areas of high-tech a priority since day one. The Governor has recently launched a number of bold, new initiatives focused on moving ideas from concept to commercialization and supporting our higher education institutions as economic engines. This new partnership between New York State, Clarkson University and the Trudeau Institute will embody all of these efforts, growing the emerging biotech industry in the North Country to attract new private investment and create good paying jobs for its residents.”
Senator Betty Little said, “When I first ran for State Assembly to represent Saranac Lake, visiting and learning about the Trudeau Institute was one of my first priorities. Trudeau is a world-renowned laboratory and ensuring its continued operation here in the heart of the Adirondacks is much more than maintaining the legacy and protecting jobs so important to our area. It’s about saving lives. That’s what the scientists and staff are working to do. This five-year investment will have enormous benefits for decades. The collaboration with Clarkson is very exciting and begins a promising new chapter for both wonderful institutions. Arriving at today’s announcement has been a long journey beginning with the surprising news of plans to move Trudeau. I am appreciative of Governor Cuomo’s interest and support every step of the way as we worked together to achieve today’s outcome.”
Assembly Member Janet Duprey said, “This is an exciting day for the North Country. We are thrilled that this caliber of science research and development is coming to our community. Thank you to Governor Cuomo and the state for continued investments in the region.”
Mayor Clyde Rabideau, Village of Saranac Lake, said, "We are becoming recognized around the globe as a place where cutting edge biotech research happens, and today's news that Clarkson University and the Trudeau Institute will form this exciting new partnership is a major step further in this direction. The jobs of tomorrow are in high-tech research and development, and we are thrilled that this new economy is growing here in the North Country. I thank Governor Cuomo for his support of this partnership, and we thank the state for this major investment and work to bring together this new bio-tech enterprise."
Chairman Billy Jones, Franklin County Legislature, said, "The North Country's economy is diversifying to reflect the new industries of the 21st century, and we are excited that two premier organizations here in our region - Clarkson University and the Trudeau Institute - are coming together for this new partnership. The state and Governor Cuomo have been a partner to Northern New York's emergence as a hub of biotech research and development, and this investment will help create jobs in our community and grow our local economy."
NCREDC Council Co-chair and President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce Garry Douglas said, "This powerful, new partnership announced today builds on the North Country region's strategic investments in the fast growing bioscience industry, and elevates our capabilities to spur the research to commercialization biotech product process, create jobs and bring new investment to our region. The North Country has fully embraced Governor Cuomo's model for community driven economic development and as a result, has realized critical collaborative partnerships, such as the one between two of our region's premier higher education and research institutions, Clarkson University and the Trudeau Institute, which will be a major force behind our region's future success."
About the Trudeau Institute
The Trudeau Institute is a nonprofit biomedical research center founded in 1884 by Dr. E.L. Trudeau. The Institute's fundamental research on immunity fosters the development of vaccines, treatments and cures for many life-threatening diseases, including cancer, tuberculosis and influenza. The Institute is supported by federal and state grants and contributions from individuals, private foundations and corporations. For further information about the Trudeau Institute, go to www.trudeauinstitute.org.
About Clarkson University
Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.