The cross-regional partnership will develop a state-of-the-art high tech business incubator/technology accelerator at SUNYIT.The words being used to describe this venture should be red-flags that taxpayer money is about to be blown, and that it will be a lucky break if anything of lasting value results.
It is not just the (partial) string of broken promises listed in yesterday's post that makes many skeptical.
A First cause for skepticism is the conflicting sizes given for the new building presented in various press accounts: 60,000 square feet in an Albany Business Journal article and the initial OD posting, and 200,000 square feet today. That is a pretty significant difference to not know which -- a signal that maybe this is just another half-baked "pie-in-the-sky" announcement like we've heard before.
A Second cause for skepticism is that it's not clear exactly what they will build at SUNYIT. What is "a state-of-the-art high tech business incubator/technology accelerator" anyway? The Albany Business Journal describes it this way:
The 60,000 square foot facility at SUNYIT will act as a commercialization center and business incubator to attract chip suppliers and contractors. It will also house class labs, faculty offices and other support space for the college’s School of Information Systems and Engineering Technology.While even that description is vague, the part about the class labs, faculty offices and support space for the college at least gives a partial picture. Per Today's Sentinel (thank heaven for the Sentinel getting some details!):
the center will include a coveted "clean room" facility that provides a specialized environment for developing chip technologies ...That could be encouraging because it sounds like it is something relatively unique in the region (which might attract business users) -- but is that really the case? What is the market for a "clean room" and where are competing "clean rooms?" Can companies use clean rooms but be located elsewhere? And if this is an "incubator," of sorts, isn't that what Griffiss Institute turned into after its "world class" research facility amounted to zero? About the only things that seem to hatch from "incubators" around here are jobs for our industrial development officials.
Per today's Sentinel:
The partnership also creates a joint educational and training curriculum between the SUNYIT School of Information Systems and Engineering Technology and the Albany college that would prepare workers for careers in computer chip integration and deployment.. . . And That is the Third cause for skepticism: We've seen "educational partnerships" before in the "Griffiss Institute" and the "Center for Brownfield Studies" and a "joint curriculum" with the latter. While "partnerships" and "joint"-anything may sound good, they ignore the reality that educational institutions DO compete with each other. In the case of Griffiss Institute and Brownfield Center, they never worked out.
It seems that we are being led down a well trodden path -- again.