A report just released by the Center for an Urban Future, a Manhattan-based think tank, finds that while New York City is home to several of the world’s leading scientific research institutions, these universities and research centers have not yet become powerful catalysts for entrepreneurship and local economic development the way similar institutions have in a number of other regions. The study concludes that New York has long failed to harness the full potential of its pre-eminent academic research institutions to build a meaningful innovation economy; an enormous missed opportunity given that the city desperately needs to diversify its economy and cultivate new engines of job growth.
The 48-page report, titled “Building New York City’s Innovation Economy,” cites numerous reasons for the city’s failings in this area, including the high cost of real estate and the shortage of affordable lab space. However, the study argues that the institutions themselves have been a big part of the problem. It shows that the leaders of the city’s universities and nonprofit research centers have not been particularly supportive of efforts to spin off new tech ventures, have not dedicated enough resources to engineering programs and, in many cases, have been too preoccupied with licensing the technologies from university research to existing firms located elsewhere, rather than to start-ups that have the potential to create jobs locally.
The Center’s report is accompanied by the city’s first-ever Innovation Index, a package of 49 charts and graphs that show where New York stands compared to other cities and regions on a broad range of indicators measuring both existing science and technology assets and the city's level of success at commercializing these assets.
> NYC Slow to Tap Tech Sector Potential (GlobeSt.com)
> NY universities fail to harness research for jobs (Reuters)
> Innovation Startups, Not License Fees (WNYC)
> New York City Is Bad At Building An Innovation Economy– Listen Up Mayor Bloomberg, (BusinessWeek)
> NYC's tech lag tracked (Crain's New York Business)