Clean Technology 2010

A Barn Raising in the Creative Core Region: Sustainable Region Case Study

T. Auricchio, K. Sharma
Nectar Partners, US

Keywords: sustainable region, economic development, cleantech, academic business partnership, innovation


How did a formerly economically depressed, industrial era manufacturing center in Upstate New York redefine itself as a leading sustainable region? Central Upstate New York, known as the Creative Core, was just selected one of the Top Ten Cleantech Cluster Organizations in the World (Sustainable World Capital, Published in the Cleantech Report), ranked 2nd in the US and 6th in the world [1]. While an incredibly beautiful area surrounded by The Finger Lakes and the Adirondacks, the region also possesses some of the country’s most environmentally challenged sites, including brownfield and superfund sites from its manufacturing legacy, and one of the nation’s most polluted lakes. Citizens and leaders from government, academia, industry and nonprofit groups have banded together to not only clean up the region, but use human capital to rebuild it as a massive R&D center that is creating world-class demonstration projects through innovative collaborations within and beyond the region. The story of how the region has transformed itself is unique. It is a blueprint for how an older economy took stock of its resources and embarked on a determined path to revitalize the area by leveraging its natural assets, R&D facilities, knowledge centers and human capital in environmental and energy systems.
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