Global Site Selector IDs Capital Region’s Most Competitive Industry Clusters for CEG
Newmark Study will Guide CEG’s Industry Attraction and Growth Efforts
ALBANY, NEW YORK – At its annual meeting on Sept. 27, the Center for Economic Growth (CEG) unveiled the findings of a Targeted Attraction & Growth Plan by Newmark’s global strategy and site selection practice that identified the Capital Region’s most competitive industry clusters and laid out steps to take them – and the regional economy – to the next level.
The Newmark study represents CEG’s first commissioned competitive analysis in a decade on which clusters it should concentrate its industry attraction efforts. For this study, Newmark and CEG engaged more than 100 stakeholders throughout the eight counties via six roundtables and 40 interviews, including leadership from GlobalFoundries, Plug Power, Velan Studios, General Electric, the University at Albany, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and many others. Newmark’s exhaustive analysis concluded that there are four industry clusters in which the eight-county Capital Region has the greatest competitive advantage.
“We are at a pivotal juncture and need to ensure that we can build off our momentum and our region’s core strengths,” said CEG President and CEO Mark Eagan. CEG believed this was the right time to have an outside set of eyes, take a comprehensive look at the region’s most competitive industries, and develop a series of recommendations for the coming years.”
In addition to naming the region’s most competitive industry cluster, Newmark identified peer metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) for each of them. The identification of these peer metros will help CEG better evaluate the Capital Region’s economic performance and better compete against rival regions. Newmark’s four most competitive industry clusters for the region are:
- 1. Digital gaming
- Potential Cluster Employment: 8,200
- Representative Companies: Blizzard Albany, Velan Studios, Rocket Science, Rushdown Studios
- Peer Metros: Dallas, Madison, Montreal
- Potential Cluster Employment: 9,500
- Representative employers: IBM, GlobalFoundries, Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron
- Peer Metros: Phoenix, Boston, Raleigh
3. Clean Energy (Offshore Wind and Green Hydrogen)
- Potential Cluster Employment: 7,200
- Representative employers: Ørsted, GE Vernova, Plug Power, Siemens
- Peer Metros: Trenton, Rochester, Virginia Beach
4. Life Sciences (Drug Discovery and Biomanufacturing)
- Potential Cluster Employment: 11,800
- Representative employers: Regeneron, Curia, GE Research
- Peer Metros: Providence, Raleigh, Worcester
In addition to identifying this list of primary target industries, the Newmark team identified additional notable assets that could emerge into their own industries or provide significant support to enable target industry development now and into the future. Newmark said, “Leaders in the region should explore opportunities in these fields and support their development.” These emerging fields are:
- Assets: UAlbany (Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, New York State Mesonet), RPI (Jefferson Project)
- Representative startups: TruWeather Solutions, WRI Energy
- Assets: RPI (AIMOS and IBM Quantum Eagle), UAlbany, GE Research
- Representative startups: MyLÚA Health and AptiHealth
“The overall goal of this effort was to create a cluster-driven economic development strategy focused on industries where the Capital Region is currently, or capable of becoming highly competitive at the national or global scale. It is about attraction and it’s about growing our own,” said CEG Chief Economic Development Officer Katie Newcombe. “To that end, CEG retained Newmark, an economic development consultancy firm with global site selection experience. This was not a planning exercise, but the development of a tactical playbook.”
“The business cases produced for each cluster are not simply marketing language. The rationale is based on rigorous data analysis and reflects real business location criteria. These business cases will empower CEG and its stakeholders to speak to industry leaders and site selectors using their own language and perspective,” said CEG Chairman Stephen Obermeyer, the CFO and principal of BBL Construction Services.
From its site selector perspective, Newmark found that the Capital Region top strengths (top 10 selling points) are:
- Higher education
- Geographic location
- Housing affordability
- Port access
- Industry cluster access
- Engaged political leadership
- CEG team market knowledge
- Workforce development
- Quality of life
- Highly educated workforce
In the coming months, Newmark will help CEG identify prospects in each target cluster. CEG will utilize those recommendations to proactively target those prospects. Newmark’s study includes 65 recommendations for CEG to pursue and help grow the four most competitive industry clusters. Among them, three examples that CEG will immediately implement include:
- Leverage research-intensive R1 universities and private sector R&D to maximize target industry and job growth.
- Identify sites that are priority candidates that align with the four industry clusters for shovel ready development and work with local/county government and/or economic development organizations (EDOs) to bring sites to shovel ready status. As a mechanism to facilitate, CEG should explore options like public-private partnerships, establishing a local development corporation, or pursuing state or federal grants to move sites forward.
- Build a more robust entrepreneurial ecosystem with leaders in target industries (inside and outside the region) to drive improvements to the visibility and effectiveness of the ecosystem and develop incubator or accelerator programs in each target industry.
The Center for Economic Growth (CEG) is dedicated to driving economic growth in New York’s eight-county, 1.1-million-person Capital Region. As the nonprofit regional economic development organization, we do this by attracting investment and talent; growing manufacturing and workforce capabilities, leveraging industry clusters, and developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We serve as a catalyst and work with partners and stakeholders to prepare the region to compete and move high-impact strategies and projects forward. An affiliate of the Capital Region Chamber, CEG is supported by investors in business, government, education, and the nonprofit sectors who are committed to sustainable economic growth and shared prosperity. For more information on CEG, visit www.ceg.org.