February 13 2023
Research & Development

Capital Region University R&D Breaks $700M-Mark

As the Capital Region positioned itself to be the home of the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC) in fiscal year 2021, university research and development spending at local colleges and universities climbed to an eight-year high, according to a Center for Economic Growth analysis of new data from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES).

In fiscal 2021, eight Capital Region higher education institutions spent $718.1 million on R&D. When accounting for inflation (chained 2012 dollars), R&D spending was up 13.4 percent over the year and was the highest it had been since fiscal 2014. Institutions that increased their R&D spending over the year included SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Union College, and Clarkson University’s Capital Region Campus.

Pushing up the R&D spending was an additional influx of $49.9 million (32.5 percent) in state and local government spending. Institutions also increased their R&D spending by $63.3 million (57.4 percent). Business-funded R&D spending also rose by $12.2 million (7.6 percent).


Engineering R&D drove the increase in spending, with a 35.1 percent increase over the year. However, R&D spending declined across other fields, by as much as -33.9 percent in social sciences, -12.5 percent in computer and information sciences, and -10.4 percent in psychology.

CEG Initiatives

CEG and its Business Growth Solutions (BGS) unit leverage the Capital Region’s R&D assets to do the following:

Promote the region around the world at industry conferences;

Improve businesses’ access to labs at facilities, such as those at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and others affiliated with Innovate 518, a University at Albany-led collaborative effort of Capital Region incubators, accelerators, and entrepreneurial service providers.

Accelerate commercialization by leveraging tech scouting, gathering technology-driven market intelligence, engaging Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) for testing and development;

Develop prototypes with its Stratasys F270 3D printer at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity or provide hand-on access to it;

Assist in the preparation of grant applications for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and Small Business Technology Transfer Program; and

Identify potential investors and providing venture pitch coaching through the VentureB series.



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