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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand spoke at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand spoke at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.

In Potsdam, Sen. Gillibrand announces "Innovation Bank"

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New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced new federal legislation meant to spur science and technology job growth, while visiting Clarkson University in Potsdam on Friday as part of her campaign swing around the North Country.

The Senator started her day touring a biotech company, called Myraid RBM, in Saranac Lake. Then she headed to Plattsburgh, for a discussion about cross-border commerce, and made her last stop in Potsdam.

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Gillibrand described the America Innovates Act as "common sense legislation."

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Reported by

Julie Grant
Reporter and Producer

Gillibrand’s last stop was the Shipley Center for Innovation at Clarkson.  The Center helps take research ideas into commercial products.  And it was here that Gillibrand announced the America Innovates Act.  She says it will create what’s called an innovation bank, “Which basically is aimed at universities and colleges and research institutions that do the hard work of creating the scientific opportunity for their researchers and students to come up with these ideas.  But then give them the money at that important stage, often called ‘death valley’ by our researchers, to bring the idea into fruition, into a commercialized product.”

Gillibrand says creating jobs through high tech innovation is the future of the New York state economy: “We are leading growth in high tech, biotech, nanotech, and energy technology because of our students, because of our entrepreneurs, because of the high quality education that we have here.  And so what we want to do for the North Country, and for all of New York state, is to fuel that, to give this potential the resources that it needs to grow.” 

Gillibrand says the bipartisan bill has numerous co-sponsors, and she told reporters after her speech that she hopes to have it passed by the end of the year.

"Now obviously, the campaign season and the election sometimes gets in the way of doing things on a bipartisan basis, but this is truly a nonpartisan issue.  It’s not a Democratic or Republican idea, it’s just a good idea."

Gillibrand was appointed by former Governor David Paterson in 2009 after Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State.  Gillibrand won a special election easily in 2010 to serve out the remainder of Clinton’s term.

She has focused on economic development and farming issues.

She faces Republican Wendy Long in the November election.  Long is an attorney who lives in New York City.


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