December 14 2020

Week in Review: December 7 – December 11, 2020

Stay up-to-date on business and economic development happenings in the Capital Region with the CEG Economic Development Week in Review. Don’t miss out on the developments that are transforming the region by following us on:


Times Union: Rensselaer County creating video gaming accelerator

Business Review: Video game startup accelerator planned for Troy, Rensselaer County IDA says


After nearly 40 years, retired Schenectady firefighter ready for his invention to help save lives

“It was 1983, and Tannatta responded to a call with the Schenectady Fire Department. A man was trapped by a fire in a second-floor bathroom, underneath a wall-hung sink.

“He was still breathing,” Tannatta said during an interview in his Niskayuna home, “but he was gasping. By the time we got him out, it was too late.”

Report: Greene, Columbia tops in 2019 tourism

“Columbia and Greene counties led the way in tourism statistics for their respective regions in a recent report by Empire State Development.

Columbia County surpassed the five other Hudson Valley counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester in 2019 — the most recent year covered in the report — for its labor income from tourism, at 9.9%, while the Hudson Valley region averages at 4.4%.”

Schumer gets semiconductor industry support into defense bill

“U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer announced Monday he has successfully gotten his $25 billion domestic computer chip manufacturing bill included in the final version of the fiscal 2021 defense budget.

It remains unclear, however, if President Donald Trump will sign it.”

Experts tout advantages of SUNY’s saliva Covid-19 tests

“Sometime in the next few days, officials at the Albany International Airport will choose a location for the airport’s new COVID-19 testing center. Testing of employees throughout the airport, from cargo handlers to the Transportation Security Administration officers, could begin by the end of the week, with public testing later in December.

The saliva tests were developed at the SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse by Frank Middleton, an associate professor at the school, said Mantosh Dewan, the school’s interim president. And from Dr. Dewan’s description, they avoid some of the drawbacks of the nearly ubiquitous nasal swabs used in other tests.”

Schenectady school bus-routing company has grown workforce 30 percent through pandemic

“Of all the tech companies operating in the Capital Region, one that specializes in school bus routing software would seem to have some of the worst prospects amid a pandemic that has shut down schools for days, weeks or months at a time.

But Schenectady-based Transfinder has blossomed this year, adding 36 new employees so far in 2020, the bulk of them after the COVID-19 crisis took hold in March and 21 of them in Schenectady. The total workforce as of Monday is 128.”

Restored school to lure filmmakers | Columbia County

“Basilica Hudson co-founders Melissa Auf der Maur and Tony Stone redeveloped an old schoolhouse to create The River House Project, 34 Allen St., as part of an initiative to attract filmmakers upstate.

The couple co-developed and co-own the building, which now houses 12 tenants. Stone is the general contractor. Film production companies, filmmakers, media specialists and an herbalist are leasing space in the building, Auf der Maur said.”

FlowActive prepares FirstDrops plumbing leak detection system for buildings

“The startup FlowActive is in the early production phase of a product that can help building owners save money by identifying water leakages.

The Troy startup’s device, called FirstDrops, can be used to identify leaking toilets in hotels and other multi-unit buildings.”

Stonewall Defense ready produce GPS cargo tracking system for U.S. Department of Defense

“A Watervliet company that’s building a device to help the military track cargo shipments is about ready for production.

Stonewall Defense has created a heavy duty GPS device that can communicate with the Department of Defense’s tracking system to share information on the whereabouts of shipments.”

Kennedy: Demand for industrial space on the rise

“It’s a “tale of two cities,” Richard Sleasman says, describing the industrial versus office real estate markets locally.

Industrial – the warehouses and distribution facilities used by online purveyors of goods and the logistics firms that get the products from point A to point B – represents a “hot market” that got even hotter during the coronavirus pandemic, says Sleasman, president and managing director of the Albany office of national commercial real estate powerhouse CBRE.”

Schenectady remains key to GE amid investigations, job cuts

“Three years ago, General Electric Co.’s power plant equipment manufacturing division, GE Power, was reeling.

The Schenectady-based division’s CEO, Steve Bolze, had left the company in 2017 after being passed over to replace Jeff Immelt as CEO.”


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