December 4 2020

Week in Review: November 30, 2020 – December 4, 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:


Troy Record: HVCC has highest 5-year, post-grad employment rate among NYS community colleges

Buffalo Business First: QTH 54 unveils web-based platform for heavy machinery market

Times Union: BA releases detailed data on Paycheck Protection Program loans

San Antonio Express News: SBA releases detailed data on Paycheck Protection Program loans


Albany region startups launching new products during the pandemic

“Despite the burdens brought on by the pandemic this year, Albany region startups have managed to introduce their first products to the market.

The Business Review has spoken with several companies this year that have launched products, or soon will, after years of investment and development. Though they have been forced to make adjustments because of the pandemic, they’ve still been able to push ahead during a difficult time.” 

Defense contract awarded to GE Global Research for water harvesting work

“GE Global Research in Niskayuna has been awarded a $14.3 million defense contract to develop a prototype for harvesting drinkable water from desert air.

The contract is part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s atmospheric water extraction program. The main objective is to build an Air2Water device powered by readily available fuel that will produce water from desert air that is safe for soldiers to consume.”

Pioneer Bank lends $14 million to First Prize project

“Pioneer Bank has lent $14.4 million to the owners of the former Tobin’s First Prize meat packing plant property on Exchange Street, where an environmental cleanup will take place before redevelopment of the site can happen.

First Prize’s owners have proposed turning the crumbling former factory into an urban-style mixed use commercial property with shops, apartments and other amenities.”

Plug Power announces collaboration with Gaussin of France

“Plug Power is partnering with French engineering firm Gaussin to bring a roster of hydrogen fuel cell-powered yard trucks and autonomous vehicles to be used at airports, seaports and other shipping hubs around the world.

The Latham fuel cell manufacturer announced an agreement Monday that will bring a string of transportation vehicles to market starting early next year.”

Capital Region BOCES plans $64 million development near Watervliet Shaker Historic District

“The developers of two proposed buildings for the Capital Region BOCES in Colonie had to overcome an objection to constructing them near the Watervliet Shaker Historic District.

The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation determined in July that a three-story, 165,000-square-foot BOCES Center and Technical Training Center and two-story Maywood School at 925 Watervliet Shaker Road would have a “demonstrable adverse impact” on the West Family Farm complex.”

CSX to acquire Pan Am Rail, expanding Capital Region presence

“CSX Corp. said Monday it had signed an agreement to acquire Pan Am Railways, the nation’s largest regional railroad with tracks extending from the Capital Region east through much of New England.

While details of the acquisition weren’t revealed, Trains magazine reported that the purchase price was believed to be $700 million.”

T&J Electrical Associates moves into new headquarters in Halfmoon

“T&J Electrical Associates, a commercial contractor with about $20 million in revenue, moved this week into a 15,000-square-foot building in Halfmoon to accommodate its large fleet of service vans and bucket trucks.

The $2.2 million building at 419 Route 146 is the latest step in the evolution of a company that was started in 1977 in Troy by two brothers, Joe and Tony Sestito, doing residential and small commercial jobs.”

Photonics program in Albany wins $19 million in defense grants

“AIM Photonics, a federal and state research consortium based in Albany and Rochester that focuses on using light instead of electricity to power computer chips, has won $19 million in grants from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA.

AIM Photonics is run by NY CREATES, the nonprofit that oversees industry research programs and real estate at SUNY Poly and other high-tech sites across the state. The program will fund development of laser-on-chip technologies that would be used in autonomous vehicles. Researchers will use a chip fabrication line at the SUNY Poly campus.”

Simmons Machine Tool of Albany pushes beyond rail into aerospace and defense work

“David Davis and Simmons Machine Tool Corp. are teaming up with their German parent company to expand their North American focus beyond freight and commuter rail customers by diving into aerospace and defense work.

Simmons is now responsible for all non-automotive North American sales and technical support for its German parent company NSH Group, Niles-Simmons-Hegenscheidt. Automotive work will continue to be handled by Simmons’ sister company Hegenscheidt Corp. near Detroit.”

Kennedy: Regeneron continuing to expand presence

“You’d be forgiven for thinking the bustle of activity near Interstate 90’s Exit 9 in East Greenbush — where construction trailers form a long line close to the highway —  has something to do with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ emergency authorization to produce an antibody “cocktail” to fight COVID-19.

But the steel girders and new facades at the site are part of a multi-year effort to create more space locally for the company, which has found success in developing and producing drugs to treat heart and eye conditions, cancers and inflammatory and infectious diseases.”

What’s happening with startups YDS Medicine, Pill-Locker Technologies and CHAaSM

“Xing Che landed her first contract just a few months after founding a drug discovery company earlier this year.

YDS Medicine is one of numerous Capital Region startups at various stages that are getting assistance at the multiple incubators and accelerators around the area. Here are three of those early tech startups and how they plan to make a wave in their respective industries.”

Startup housed at Albany Med sells 25,000 devices one year after incorporation

“The company ZephyRx was incorporated in August 2019 to create a remote monitoring device for lung disease patients. The startup has now shipped more than 25,000 devices since April to the top 200 hospitals in the country, and that number could double next year.

‘We have a very unique solution, and it’s being adopted extremely rapidly by hospitals all throughout the United States,” said Dwight Cheu, CEO of ZephyRx. “It was the fastest product I’ve ever brought to market.’”

Funding Partners