Tech Valley Albany, NY(USA)
History of Tech Valley
Technology is deeply rooted in the New York State's Hudson Valley. Early in the 19th century, America's first railroad was established between the state capital of Albany and the city of Schenectady.
Albany has a history rich in groundbreaking innovation. In 1829, the telegraph and electric motor were introduced by Joseph Henry. Later in the 19th century, Schenectady, too, became a birthplace of invention with the arrival of Thomas Edison and his company, Edison Machine Works, which in 1892, became the headquarters of General Electric.
Invention and cutting-edge development along the Hudson valley continued throughout the next century. In the early 20th century, the light bulb, the radio tuner, and the x-ray tube all received their patents here.
In 1998, the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce began using the label, Tech Valley, in marketing efforts designed to attract new business to a ten-county area in eastern New York State, the Capital District. Former Chamber president, Wallace Altes, is credited with creating the catchphrase, a blend of words describing the booming high-technology sector located in the valley surrounding the Hudson River. Altes initial suggestion, "Techneurial Valley," was shortened at the suggestion of Albany businessman Jay Burgess.
From the outset, the Chamber envisioned expansion past the Capital District. Currently, Tech Valley spans across 19 counties, from the New York City suburbs of Westchester County at its south up through to the U.S. - Canadian border. The area encompasses over 15,637 square miles including 24 chambers of commerce that represent over half a million workers.
One of the initial objectives of the Tech Valley marketing campaign was to attract a computer chip fabrication to the region. The presence of several colleges, including Hudson Valley Community College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Albany, which all offered extensive computer science education, research and development, and technical training, created a climate of entrepreneurs, engineers, and developers intent on capitalizing on the innovative spirit of the region.
In 2009, GlobalFoundries, a manufacturing spinoff of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), built one of the largest chip-fab companies in the world at Tech Valley's Luther Forest Technology Campus in Malta, New York. Thanks to the creation of the Albany NanoTech complex, a $5 billion high-technology hub located at the University of Albany, Tech Valley beat out global competitors, such as China and Brazil, to become home to AMD's microprocessor plant.
Over 1,000 technology companies are located in Tech Valley. Over ten percent of available workers in the area are employed in technology-related positions. An estimated 50,000 workers make up a total payroll of over $2 billion.
Alternative energy, biotechnology, homeland security, information technology, and nanotechnology are the five key fields responsible for rapid growth in the region. The annual economic impact of companies doing business in Tech Valley is estimated at $5 billion.
General Electric (GE) is the region's largest private-sector employer. In addition to the aforementioned AMD, Boston Scientific, IBM Microelectronics, Mohawk Fine Papers, and Pitney Bowes Software are just a few of the corporations that thrive in Tech Valley.
Tech Valley is conveniently located in eastern New York, between New York City and Montreal. Interstate highways, I-90, I-87 and I-84 are easily accessible to Tech Valley, making it easy to reach major cities in New Jersey, New York, and Canada, by car, within hours.
Several international and commuter airports serve the area including Albany International Airport in Albany; Stewart International Airport, located in Newburgh, 60 miles north of New York City; and Plattsburgh International Airport which serves Montreal, southern Canada and the cities surrounding New York's Adirondack Mountains.
Amtrak offers train service to nine counties in Tech Valley with 15 convenient stops. Over 20 transit providers offer buses, light rail, and metro services throughout the Adirondacks/North County, Capital, Hudson Valley, and Mohawk Valley districts.