HOW SUNY MATTERS
Economic impact of the State University of New York
SUNY is taking its role in economic development to a new level and building an innovation economy in three ways:
- Advancing innovation by investing in research and new enterprises;
- Helping businesses perform better through training, consultation and other services;
- Fostering vital communities by sharing expertise and resources, from applied research to cultural amenities.
A report - How SUNY Matters: Economic impacts of the State University of New York - was developed by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Insitute of Government of the University at Albany and the University at Buffalo Regional Institute to look at the economic power of SUNY. This detailed analysis examines the role of SUNY while also establishing a benchmark for measuring future progress. Among its key findings:
The economic power of SUNY:
- $19.8 Billion in impact
- 173,000 jobs supported
- $460 million in state and local taxes generated
SUNY as a research enterprise: (in a typical year)
- $1.3 billion in research revenues (2008-09)
- 360 invention disclosures
- 225 patent applications
- 79 patents
- 22 spin-offs
- 25 start-ups
- 60 licenses
- $23 million in license income
- Even using conservative assumptions, SUNY spending and employment exert large effects on local and state economies and give New York State government a strong return on its investment.
- SUNY provides a large share of the well-educated workforce in the state, though its role varies greatly from one region to another.
- SUNY universities and colleges provide an extraordinary range of direct services to state and local businesses - often tailored to meet the particular needs of specific businesses and address the challenges and opportunities of different regions.
- Some SUNY campuses already have experience working with New York State and local government agencies in performing economic and workforce development functions.
- SUNY university centers have developed extensive supports for entrepreneurial efforts to draw on new knowledge to produce commercial innovations.
- Opportunities for successful academic entrepreneurship are not limited to situations where supportive facilities and services are already available, where efforts can draw on faculty in "translational disciplines" or even where new ideas or technologies exist. Academic entrepreneurship can emerge and succeed under many circumstances.
- Building on innovations and their effects in successive steps can produce very large economic impacts. This process of "innovative incrementalism" may be used by entrepreneurs to reach a tipping point beyond which a vibrant and sustainable ecology of organizations and people generates new activities and innovations on their own. This process highlights the utility of persistence and focus among academic entrepreneurs.
- One of SUNY's strengths is its capacity for joint projects across campuses. Such collaborations can multiply the resources brought to bear on economic development efforts.
- Another great strength of SUNY is the pluralism and diversity of its campuses. The 64-campus system offers many independent, potential sources of initiative, and the diversity of campuses and their specializations means that a wide range of economic needs may be recognized and addressed. In sum, opportunities for innovation, entrepreneurship and economic leadership are widespread in the SUNY system - and can be exploited more fully.