By Julie DeVito
Last week, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his annual State of the State address and put forth far more tech-related initiatives than last year. In this year’s address he noted that NY’s “future economy lies in innovation and high-technology.” The tech initiatives proposed include:
- Innovation Zones that will provide schools with innovative technology to increase student achievement, make learning more accessible, and engage with parents.
- Cuomo highlighted how the state is using the Internet to increase employment through “Jobs Express,” a State website for NY residents seeking employment. It currently has 75,000 job openings and that has helped over 59,000 people find work.
- Enacted a new law to more effectively online child pornography, closed a prior loophole and introduced legislation that requires schools to act on cases of cyber bullying
Announced a NY State Cyber Security Initiative due to the increasing cyber attacks over the last few years. It will create a Governor’s Cyber Security Advisory Board to strengthen state data systems and ensure that state and local governments are aware of threats, tools, and techniques to handle threats.
- Cuomo reminded NYers of the recent amendment consisting of a new secure online voter registration system that already has allowed 100,400 NYers to register online
- He said that the State is being careful to use new technologies such as user-friendly websites and mobile apps as well as social media to connect with taxpayers.
- Cuomo announced the implementation of OPEN NY, which will use technology to promote transparency, improve government performance, and enhance citizen engagement
- It will build on already existing user friendly websites and social media to make information more available to the public and allowing them to collaborate with the government
- It will provide access to data, reports, and information on a downloadable and searchable electronic format
- “App competitions” will ask the community to help the government develop better uses for data
Economy and Small Businesses
- Cuomo created a statewide small business outreach to help small businesses such as many tech companies grow. He’s going to increase the commercialization of academic ideas and inventions to help new and small businesses in a process known as “tech transfer” that Cuomo said will bring ideas to market through technology-focused business incubators.
- He highlighted the fact that NY colleges incubate fewer start-ups than many other states and that NY is home to few fast-growing tech companies, with only 11 on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 List and that this needs to change.
- To increase growth, Cuomo will launch an Innovation Hot Spots Program where each Regional Economic Development Council will submit a newly created high-tech incubator program and the winners will receive benefits and support from the state.
- He will create an Innovation NY network to build connections among academics, venture capitalists, business leaders, patent lawyers, and other professionals.
- Cuomo called for a new training system to match skills needed by employers for positions in order to decrease jobs overseas and to fill already existing positions for highly skilled technical workers. He proposes partnerships between local community colleges and businesses where businesses can express the specific skills that they are looking for so that the school can in turn teach the students.