NYS Innovation Summit set for Turning Stone in November


Summit returns after one-year hiatus due to COVID     

The New York State Innovation Summit is scheduled for Nov. 8-9 at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona after the pandemic prevented the event from happening in 2020. The 2019 Innovation Summit, as seen in this photo, was held in Rochester.

VERONA, N.Y. — The New York State Innovation Summit — an annual showcase for technology and discovery — is set for Nov. 8-9 at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona. 

The annual event brings together New York’s “brightest minds, most promising tech and manufacturing companies, and most resourceful innovation support services,” event organizers boasted in a news release.

The summit is back this year after the 2020 event, which had been planned for the Mohawk Valley, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2019 Summit, held in Rochester, attracted more than 500 innovators, business leaders, and entrepreneurs, as well as 100-plus exhibitors, “providing a boost to area hotels, restaurants and attractions.”

Through a series of speakers, breakout sessions, and pitch sessions, attendees will have the chance to demonstrate, discover, and collaborate on new and emerging technologies. This year’s event also includes an annual commercialization competition.

NYSTAR — Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation — and FuzeHub, the statewide center for the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NY MEP), organize the Innovation Summit. 

Those interested in attending can register at https://nysinnovationsummit.com/registration/. 

Several prominent executives and leaders are scheduled to speak at the 2021 Summit, including Gregg Lowe, president and CEO of Durham, North Carolina–based Cree, Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE), which is building a silicon-carbide fabrication facility in Marcy. In addition, the speakers include Andrew Marsh, president and CEO of Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG); Guha Bala, president of Velan Studios; and Joshua Ness, Verizon 5G Labs senior manager.

“This year’s lineup not only illustrates the strength of New York State’s innovation economy, but also represents some of its key sectors: clean technology, semiconductors, digital gaming and information technology. And with a $1 billion chip fabrication plant rising near Utica, the Mohawk Valley is the perfect location to showcase — and accelerate — our state’s technological prowess,” Matt Watson, senior VP of NYSTAR, said in the release. “Many attendees and exhibitors — including companies represented by our keynoters — have received support from NYSTAR’s extensive network. The summit brings them together to spur even more growth, which in turn creates jobs and strengthens New York’s economic future. We look forward to the return of this vital event and to the inevitable success stories that will be traced back to November 2021 at the New York State Innovation Summit.”

Additional speakers and panelists for the 2021 New York State Innovation Summit will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Breakout sessions

NYSTAR and FuzeHub will use the event to feature companies and researchers “at the forefront of advancements in technologies and production capabilities.” Experts in several areas — including biotechnology, new materials, energy innovation, and artificial intelligence — will explore current technology-convergence opportunities, ways to speed up commercialization, and issues of manufacturing sustainability.

The Innovation Summit will include breakout sessions, in which participants will learn about economic development in New York, including today’s capital-funding landscape and the state-supported programs that provide “critical resources and incentives” for manufacturing and technology companies.

The sessions will also focus on national trends related to the future of electronics packaging and manufacturing, innovations that protect bodies of water and promote sustainable food production, and emerging strategies for manufacturers in a post-COVID era.

In addition, the breakout sessions will also focus on disruptive technologies, including the impact of quantum breakthroughs, the competitive advantages of harnessing data and artificial intelligence, and the opportunities that exist for innovators in biotechnology and advanced health care.

Commercialization competition

FuzeHub’s annual Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund Commercialization Competition will be a new addition to the Innovation Summit this November. Now in its fifth year, the Commercialization Competition awards funding to companies from across New York. Finalists pitch their products in front of a live audience, and a panel of industry experts select the winners based on the commercialization potential of their technologies. 

FuzeHub and NYSTAR awarded a total of $300,000 to six companies during last year’s Commercialization Competition. 

“At the heart of each Innovation Summit has been the potential for commercialization of cutting-edge technology developed and manufactured in New York State,” Elena Garuc, executive director of FuzeHub, said. “That’s what makes our Commercialization Competition a natural fit — I expect the bar to be higher than ever before. As in the past, startups and manufacturers will also have access to resources from NYSTAR and NY MEP to help them get to the next level.”

Jeff Lawrence, who died in 2015, was a top executive at the Albany–based Center for Economic Growth, the MEP Center for the Capital Region, and a supporter of New York manufacturing and entrepreneurial communities, according to FuzeHub.       

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