November 22 2019

Week in Review: November 18 – November 22, 2019


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:


GE Research, Siena College working together on the next innovation in AI

“GE Research and Siena College scientists are working together on a new project focused on developing artificial intelligence that lets machines acquire language in the same way a child learns language.

GE Research in Niskayuna is partnering with researchers from Siena College’s Institute of Artificial Intelligence, which focuses on natural language processing and research in artificial intelligence. They have been awarded $500,000 through DARPA for Phase I of the project, which will be completed over nine months.”

SUNY Adirondack to promote local businesses with Made at ADK event

“SUNY Adirondack will mark National Entrepreneurship Day with a Made at ADK event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday in the Northwest Bay Conference Center in Adirondack Hall.

SUNY Adirondack President Kristine Duffy will speak at 10 a.m., and local entrepreneur J. Buck Bryan will deliver a keynote address at 1 p.m.”

How a Skidmore student entrepreneur is empowering (and employing) women farmers in Madagascar

“Jessica Ndrianasy is building her business employing women and young people in well-paid farming jobs in Madagascar from more than 8,600 miles away.

Ndrianasy, a senior at Skidmore College, grew up on the northwest side of Madagascar. She said her mom sacrificed everything so she could have access to education and eventually go to college. Ndrianasy wanted to bring that same opportunity to other young women in Madagascar, and started a business with her mom and family back home.”

New Common Roots brewery rises from ashes of March fire

“The walls are up and a new brewery is taking shape on the site where the Common Roots Brewing Company was crippled by fire March 25.

The family-owned craft beer producer is aiming for a late-February test run of the new brewing equipment that’s arriving in pieces now, and it hopes to open to the public by the spring, said Christian Weber, co-founder and head brewer.”

Somml Health plans to improve health care with a simple idea: More communication

“Kurt Lozier and John O’Kane started their company to make it easier for everyone involved in a patient’s care — the primary care doctor, the specialists, and the person’s family — to stay in touch.

O’Kane comes from a health care industry background, including working as a cardiopulmonary therapist early in his career. Lozier is a serial entrepreneur, who most recently was an executive at Dow Jones.”

West Mountain finishes seven-year project

“A new ski lift, lights, snowmaking machines and a café are awaiting skiers this winter at West Mountain.

In fact, snow came a little too early for the ski resort this year. Tractors and bulldozers are still at work on the Northwest side of the mountain, finishing up the new ski lift.”

Big changes take shape in tiny Schenectady neighborhood

“Things are happening in the city’s East Front Street neighborhood.

Residents got a double-jolt of activity last week with a celebration touting the partial completion of a mural commemorating the neighborhood’s working-class history.

And East Front Street street is freshly paved.”

Albany jobless rate rises, but remains lowest among state’s cities

“Unemployment in the Capital Region increased to 3.4 percent of the workforce in October, up from 3.2 percent a year earlier. But the rate, unchanged from September, was the lowest among the state’s metros. Kingston also posted a 3.4 percent jobless rate.

Watertown’s 4.9 percent jobless rate was the highest among metros, followed by Binghamton and New York City, each of which posted a 4.2 percent unemployment rate.”

Cree starts hiring in upstate New York, with plans to soon select contractor for $1 billion factory

“Hiring is underway and construction is on schedule to start this winter on Cree Inc.’s $1 billion factory near Utica.

Cree CEO Gregg Lowe told the Business Review a general contractor will likely be selected this week or next.”

Rensselaer County hemp grower doubles production

“The founders of HempChain Farms and Naturae LLC have nearly doubled production of cannabidiol-rich plants less than two years after purchasing their 189-acre farm in the town of Berlin.

During its inaugural growing season in 2018, HempChain started out with 35,000 plants. This year, the number was closer to 65,000.”

The reason behind Cree’s $1 billion bet on a factory near Utica: Electric vehicles

“Cree Inc. is making a $1 billion bet the electric vehicle market will boom over the next decade, sending business its way. There are already signs it could pay off — the manufacturer has started signing contracts for work at its planned factory near Utica.

Within the past three months, Cree has signed new contracts with Delphi Technologies (NYSE: DLPH), an automotive propulsion tech giant; ZF Friedrichshafen, a German automotive supplier; and ABB (NYSE: ABB), a Swiss manufacturing giant.”

Area brewery owners to unveil line of CBD products

“The owners of a local farm brewery are breaking into a new market with their own line of CBD products.

R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery, owned and operated by Richard and Kelley Taylor, will host a Cannabis Curious event from 4 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23 at its Saratoga Springs Tap Room at 26A Congress St. in Congress Plaza in Saratoga Springs.”

Innovation Center at Saratoga previewed

“Saratoga County is getting ready for great things to come. By summer of 2020, the county’s first collaborative maker space should be open to the public.

The Innovation Center and Saratoga Bridges announced plans for the construction of a maker space at a preview event on Tuesday at the building site on Saratoga Bridges Boulevard. The building is currently home to the Saratoga Bridges Alpha Industries, a chapter of ARC of New York.”


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