Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the University at Albany broke ground on its Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurship Complex at the Harriman State Office Campus - paving the way for a new interdisciplinary hub for STEM research, public policy development and entrepreneurship. The $180 million complex, funded in part by the NYSUNY 2020 program, will be built on the Harriman Campus and will be the future home of University at Albany's first-in-the-nation College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity.
"This new complex will continue to grow the Capital Region as a hub of technological innovation as well as help ensure New York is prepared for emerging threats, such as extreme weather and terrorism that are increasingly becoming the new normal," said Governor Cuomo. "By bringing academia and the business sector together, we are enabling the industries vital to our preparedness effort to grow and thrive right here in New York."
ETEC will combine UAlbany's existing research strengths, some of its fastest-growing new programs and innovative entrepreneurial resources in a single state-of-the-art facility, fostering teaching, research and business collaborations. It will also house the University's Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, Atmospheric Sciences Research Center and other UAlbany academic departments. The complex will provide new instructional spaces for University use and co-locate private business partners and the University's technology transfer offices to help commercialize breakthroughs made in the complex's labs and classrooms. A rendering is available of the ETEC ground level view.
In addition, the complex will house the New York State Mesonet, the nation's most advanced weather-detection system which was built by University at Albany at the direction of Governor Cuomo in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy to ensure New York will be better prepared and protected from future severe weather.
In 2016, Governor Cuomo announced that the University would develop 12 neighboring acres on the Harriman Campus to build the 245,000-square-foot complex. ETEC's partnership with the state is vital to private collaboration as the building is located just steps from the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Office of Emergency Management and New York State Police. This proximity also offers students better access to powerful hands-on experiential learning opportunities with state agencies that work daily to make New York safer, more prepared and more resilient.
SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson said, "Across New York State, SUNY campuses are the places thought leaders and innovators come together to tackle society's most pressing challenges. UAlbany's ETEC building represents the next evolution of this critical role. By combining UAlbany's academic and research expertise with the drive of entrepreneurs, the collaboration fostered within ETEC will play an important role in solving not just the problems of today - but anticipating and preparing for the challenges of tomorrow."
University at Albany President Havidán Rodríguez said, "This project embodies the core priorities of our unfolding strategic plan that will ensure UAlbany's position as a world-class research institution for years to come: in-demand academic programs that lead to good jobs, timely research that improves lives by addressing societal needs and applied learning opportunities that make our students more successful and engaged. Thanks to Governor Cuomo, this partnership also exemplifies how public universities can collaborate with state government to leverage their collective expertise and serve as nodes of private innovation that will make New York and its economy stronger."
Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito said, "Locating ETEC on Harriman is a prime example of Governor Cuomo's focus on establishing collaborations between State entities that produce positive, tangible results for the people of New York State. Establishing a center that will join together UAlbany's cutting-edge educational resources, the hands-on security and emergency training that DHSES brings to the table, and new entrepreneurial opportunities for private business partners, is a natural progression in the use of the Campus."
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger L. Parrino said, "The University at Albany's CEHC is producing the next generation of leaders in the fields of homeland security, cybersecurity, and emergency management. DHSES is proud to partner with CEHC in this effort and this new facility will further strengthen that relationship."
Senator George Amedore said, "It is critical that we find ways to enhance state investments in our public universities through key partnerships with private sector businesses. UAlbany's ETEC building is designed to foster exactly those kinds of collaborations in areas like atmospheric sciences and homeland security in order to benefit all New Yorkers and better protect the state's businesses and its economy from emerging threats."
Senator Neil D. Breslin said, "I have always been a proponent of public education, and UAlbany's ETEC facility represents the powerful role that New York's public colleges and universities can play in leading New York State's economy through the 21st century. Public-private partnerships that result in research and development that makes all New Yorkers safer and more secure is the definition of a public good."
Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said, "ETEC Is an opportunity for New York to showcase two areas where we are proud to be national leaders - our commitment to public higher education and our commitment to tackling the challenges that come with a changing climate. This work must get done, and the fact that it will be done here at UAlbany in the state capital sends a message that New York intends to remain at the forefront in these critical areas."
Assemblymember John T. McDonald III said, "UAlbany's ETEC building will demonstrate how strategic investments in public higher education can yield significant returns not just for individual students but for an entire region and all of New York State. The research and business collaborations that will take place inside ETEC are an example of the state's commitment to taking ownership of its own security and preparedness while also setting a national standard for how to fit the technical expertise embedded in our public institutions such as UAlbany to the needs of the private sector."
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, "I have made economic development a focus of my administration, and the public-private partnerships that will happen inside ETEC will leverage two of Albany County's greatest assets: proximity to the deep expertise in state government and a world-class research institution in UAlbany. We are committed to working with the state and UAlbany to make sure Albany County is known nationally as a place for innovation."
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, "I have made it a priority for Albany to prepare for and to protect our residents and visitors from emerging threats like the more frequent severe storms that impact our infrastructure. UAlbany's ETEC building will foster cutting-edge research in these critical fields in our backyard, and will allow for greater collaboration between researchers and all levels of government. Thank you to Governor Cuomo and SUNY for ensuring the Capital City will continue to be a leader in developing ways to meet the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century."
Since its launch by Governor Cuomo in 2015, CEHC has rapidly outgrown its current space on UAlbany's Downtown Campus. Though projected to have about 70 majors by this semester, the college now has more than 750 majors, and hundreds more minors and intended majors. Once completed in 2021, ETEC will have the capacity to house more than 200 full-time faculty and researchers, 100 research and industry partners and as many as 800 students.
With close to 120 faculty, researchers and staff, UAlbany is also home to the largest concentration of atmospheric, climate and environmental scientists in New York State, and one of the largest in the nation. The University's Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences features the largest graduate program in the nation with more than 80 current students.
ETEC will include classroom and office space; research labs; specialty instrumentation facilities; an emergency preparedness situation room, weather research and instruction map rooms and observation facilities; business and technology transfer services offices; and conference facilities. A pedestrian path from UAlbany's existing perimeter road as well as shuttle bus service from Uptown Campus buildings to the new building will connect ETEC to the main academic podium.
The University's development team has already completed preparatory site work as well as installation of ETEC's geothermal well field, which will make the building more sustainable by using the earth beneath it to reduce heating and cooling costs and the reliance on fossil fuels.
Consigli Construction NY, LLC is the general contractor on the project.