Cornell President to Chair NY Task Force Bridging Higher Ed and Industries

New York Governor David A. Paterson today issued an executive order creating a task force that will bring together State leaders in industry and higher education to generate ideas to diversify the New York State economy through industry-higher education partnerships. The Task Force on Diversifying the New York State Economy through Industry-Higher Education Partnerships, established by Executive Order No. 19, will study best practices and generate recommendations on fostering business incubation, growth and emerging technology commercialization.Governor Paterson also announced David J. Skorton, President of Cornell University, the land grant university of the State of New York, to serve as Chairman of the Task Force, and Daniel Doktori, the Governor’s Director for Higher Education, to serve as Executive Director of the Task Force.

“New York State today competes in a global knowledge economy and our success will depend on how well we can generate new ideas and convert them into products and processes that change the way we live,” said Governor Paterson. “Our State is home to an enviable mix of higher education and research institutions – both public and private, upstate and downstate. For decades, New York has been the financial center of the world. Now, we have the opportunity to play a similar role in the New Economy where today’s ideas are tomorrow’s jobs.”

President of Cornell University David Skorton said: “I am honored by Governor Paterson’s request that I chair this task force, especially at a time when our State and our nation are challenged to chart a new course for our collective economic well being amid historic financial difficulties. The moment is right to define strategies to strengthen New York and lay the groundwork for tomorrow’s opportunities, for instance, to be the home to a critical mass of renewable energy industries, to take full advantage of the increased interest in local foods and food security, and to leverage the State’s broad research base. These are some examples of the ideas we will investigate to bring together the strengths and creativity of New Yorkers throughout the State. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Task Force.”  Mr. Skorton is also chair of the Business-Higher Education Forum, a national, independent, non-profit organization of Fortune 500 CEOs, leaders of colleges and universities and foundation executives.

The Task Force will be comprised of representatives from New York State government, institutions of higher education, research laboratories and leading companies headquartered in New York State. The Task Force will examine opportunities in areas of strategic strength for New York State including energy technology, biotechnology and medicine, agriculture, and nanotechnology. It will submit recommendations on accelerating translation from basic research to commercialization, incubation of new companies, promotion of growing companies, and enhancing the collaborative university-industry environment in New York State.

The Task Force will submit recommendations to the Governor on or before December 15, 2009.  For a copy of Executive Order No. 19, visit