The results are in from the Greater Rochester Innovation Benchmarking Survey, a project jointly sponsored by The Infotonics Technology Center and Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE), and conducted by the Center for Regional Innovation at the Council on Competitiveness in Washington, D.C.
A sneak preview of the report includes this critical finding:
"The Rochester region has the elements necessary to build an entrepreneurial fire. However, these elements are not always linked or structured in the way that is conducive to innovation."
On Thursday afternoon, September 23, at the Little Theatre in Rochester, those who conducted the survey will reveal their findings in a session titled "Making Rochester Hot." Key local business and economic development leaders then will share examples of the new momentum in the region, announce innovative new initiatives, and highlight a cooperative plan of action to move forward.
The goal of the survey, conducted earlier this year, was to identify key regional economic development issues critical to building a strong, innovation-driven economy in the Rochester region, and to catalyze the development of action plans to address those issues. The survey focused on regional economic assets, innovation networks, and economic beliefs and attitudes.
Representatives of small, medium and large businesses participated, along with academics and entrepreneurs from across the Rochester region.
David R. Smith, CEO of the Infotonics Technology Center, said the report "does an excellent job of identifying the foundation we have in this region upon which to build an innovation-driven economy, and it also points out what we need to do better to make our goals a reality."
Michael Finney, president and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise, said: "The report reinforces our strength as an innovative community and its recommendations will help us leverage this asset to enhance our regional economy."
Both Smith and Finney will participate in the Sept. 23 session, which will include reports on the findings in the survey and interactive panel discussions with audience participation. Results of the survey will be presented by Deborah Wince-Smith, President, Council on Competitiveness, and Randall T. Kempner, VP-Regional Innovation, Council on Competitiveness. Rochester Business Alliance CEO Tom Mooney will serve as emcee for the event.
Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE) is a public-private partnership established to professionally market the Rochester metropolitan region as a competitive, high-profile place for business location and growth. GRE will collaborate with business, academia, not-for-profit organizations and government to ensure a unified approach to regional economic development efforts.
About the Infotonics Center
The Infotonics Technology Center Inc. (Infotonics) is a not-for-profit corporation that operates New York State's Center of Excellence in Photonics and Microsystems. Infotonics is structured as a consortium whose industrial participants include Corning, Inc., Eastman Kodak Company, and Xerox Corporation. Academic participants include some 20 New York State colleges and universities. Infotonics' goal is to establish a unique, world-class research and development facility to enable rapid commercialization of new products. This initiative will provide major benefits to the region, including creation of jobs and attraction of new companies and investment revenue.