First high-tech incubator at a women's college says girls can do science

06/22/05

$2.5 mil INVEST Project lands a Russell Sage College in Troy, NY

TROY, NY -- Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno today announced $2.5 million in funding to create INVEST, an Incubator for Nanotechnology Ventures, Emerging Sciences, and Technologies, a joint nanotechnology incubator with Russell Sage College and Evident Technologies. Located at Russell Sage College in Troy, this facility will be the first of its kind nationally at a women's college.

The $2.5 million from Senator Bruno will be coupled with $1.5 million in private funding to help high tech companies grow and expand while advancing Sage's science and technology programs.

Evident Technologies of Troy, committed to being the first tenant, projects having 32 jobs in the first year of operation in the Incubator, including 15 new lab technicians, and the number is expected to double over the course of three years.

"This project will build on our continuing efforts to make Troy and the Capital Region, birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, the heart of the emerging technologies industries of the 21st century. It will be an important next step in developing Tech Valley," said Senator Bruno. "It is another positive example of the good things that can happen when the public sector, private enterprise and academic institutions work together to make innovative ideas reality. This investment will help cutting edge businesses develop their products and create jobs, while it enhances Russell Sage's reputation as one of finest colleges for women in the nation."

"The impact of this facility will be far-reaching," said Jeanne Neff, president of The Sage Colleges, "as it enriches our educational environment and contributes to the development of the waterfront area south of campus where we hope to see similar businesses and research facilities established over time. Its location at Russell Sage also makes clear that women can do science!"

"Evident has grown up in downtown Troy, and we are happy to help the growing entrepreneurial spirit of the city by being part of INVEST at Sage," said Clinton Ballinger, Ph.D., CEO of Evident. "While continuing to successfully grow our own company, we can also help faculty, staff and students better understand how to create successful technology companies. We have learned that it is not just breakthrough science or technology that makes a company successful. It is also strong business strategies, marketing, sales and financial management, and we plan on sharing our field-tested knowledge in these areas."

The funds will be used to retrofit John Paine Hall, a building at the center of the historic Russell Sage campus, into an incubator for use by technology businesses that would be linked to programs at the college. The upgraded facilities will be located immediately adjacent to Sage's Science Hall and include a new connector "bridge" as well as occupant-ready laboratory facilities for Evident and two new state-of-the-art chemistry labs for Sage.

In addition to complementing the applied education approach utilized at Russell Sage College, which is consistently ranked one of the top five comprehensive colleges in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report, the new incubator and its facilities would build on Russell Sage's successful GEMS program – Girls in Engineering, Math and Science – for middle and high school girls aimed at increasing the number of girls and women studying and entering technical careers in engineering, mathematics, and computer science.

The move will help fill the growing need for incubator space in the Capital Region, which has proven to be successful in promoting a cross cultivation in ideas and new technologies from businesses to academia. Evident Technologies, which is headquartered in Troy, is a pioneer and world leader in the development of quantum dots –semiconductor nanomaterials engineered to enable the creation of advanced products for numerous markets including life sciences, solid state lighting, energy, security, telecommunications and emergent nanotechnology markets. Additional companies will be added over time.

"This investment at Russell Sage is very similar to the investment made 10 years ago that created a high tech incubator at the former Sterling Winthrop facility in East Greenbush that has resulted in the creation of thousands of new jobs and dozens of growing businesses," said Senator Bruno. "I strongly believe this new investment will be another tremendous success for the economy of the Capital Region."

About The Sage Colleges
The Sage Colleges is an independent private institution of higher education comprising three colleges: Russell Sage College, a comprehensive, undergraduate college for women in Troy, NY; Sage College of Albany, a co-educational undergraduate college of applied studies in Albany, NY; and Sage Graduate School, operating on both campuses and offering applied master's and doctoral degrees. Through the Sage College of Albany's Sage After Work program, working adults with college credits, or an associate degree can earn their bachelor's while they work and balance family life.

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