START-UP NY at Oswego identifies campus properties, business prospects

OSWEGO — SUNY Oswego has moved to take advantage of the economic development and educational opportunities presented by the governor’s recently launched START-UP NY program, selecting three campus properties to showcase to businesses, meeting with prospects and faculty, and beginning to assemble an advisory council.

The work this fall also has included aligning the college’s core academic competencies with potential business interests.

“Linkages with Oswego’s academic strengths will be critical to building our START-UP NY partnerships,” college President Deborah F. Stanley said. “In a successful partnership, SUNY Oswego and the company will work together in a key area of the college’s competency for mutual, complementary benefit.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in October formally launched START-UP NY, providing major incentives for qualifying businesses to relocate, start up or expand in this state through affiliations with colleges and universities.

Businesses that qualify will have the opportunity to operate free of state and local taxes on or near academic campuses, and their employees will pay no state or local personal income taxes for 10 years.

The key qualification: The company must add new jobs, providing an economic lift to the surrounding community that does not endanger nearby competitors.

‘Open for business’

Stanley initially has selected three sites for tax-free zones to attract new and expanding businesses to the college campus: the Romney parking lot overlooking State Route 104; Mackin Hall, the east-campus connector building between two residence halls on Sheldon Avenue; and the lake-view tennis courts and adjacent parking lot on Rudolph Road at its west-campus intersection with Iroquois Trail, the campus ring road.

There is also potential to add properties to those selections within a mile of the Oswego campus, SUNY Oswego Phoenix Center and SUNY Oswego Metro Center in Syracuse.

“We’re open for business,” said Pamela Caraccioli, deputy to the president for external partnerships and economic development.

She noted that the college has met with seven business prospects to date.

One prospect, she said, is a global company with a cutting-edge technology focus.

Representatives recently toured campus facilities, meeting with faculty in software engineering, electrical and computer engineering and human-computer interaction.

“Everyone involved came away impressed with the commercial as well as the educational possibilities,” Caraccioli said. “It was exciting to see the potential of a campus-business relationship.”

Caraccioli plans to travel to additional colleges and universities in and out of state to see and learn about campus-business partnership programs similar to START-UP NY.

“We also want to focus on how these campuses have lured international interest,” Caraccioli said. “We are proud to nurture a global focus at SUNY Oswego.”

A key pillar of SUNY Oswego’s strategic plan is global engagement, exemplified by such programs as the Global Laboratory for undergraduate research internationally, scores of opportunities for study abroad, on-campus experiences such as Collaborative Online International Learning courses and School of Business and Office of Business and Community Relations advisory roles with area companies aiming to do business internationally.

Collaborative relationships

SUNY Oswego has identified a 25-member Economic Development Advisory Council, with an eye toward cross-campus as well as cross-sector community representation.

SUNY Oswego for years has worked with businesses in the region to build partnerships in a variety of ways, such as cooperative education, internships, research support, and advisory boards for programs.

“Empire State Development is the clearinghouse for all qualifications for the tax-free zones,” Caraccioli said. “We are the clearinghouse in terms of fit. A business proposal must be the right fit for our campus in order to move forward.”

The college has provided business prospects with a list of core academic strengths in the following categories: computational sciences and technological innovation; accounting, finance and marketing in undergraduate and MBA programs; communications and culture; international education experiences and global issues; aging and health; the natural and built environments; innovative education and assessment; and creative capital.