New York to Bolster High-Tech Initiatives

New York Gov. George Pataki gave high tech a shot in the arm recently by signing into law "J2K," a $522 million economic development program that benefits technology research and capital investment in business growth.

"In order to remain competitive with the world and continue to create record numbers of jobs here in New York, it is critical that we invest in high-tech business development," Pataki said in a news release.

New York's 1999-2000 state budget includes $156.5 million for high-tech academic research; $280 million in venture capital funds to invest in emerging businesses; $34 million to retrain employees to operate high-tech equipment; and $51.5 million for infrastructure improvements to supply water to accommodate business growth.

The newly created Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research will administer the academic end, developing policies to encourage research and economic development at colleges and universities. The group will find ways that the state can share in royalties and licensing fees generated from the development of new technologies.

The group will use $7.5 million for a faculty development program to attract researchers to New York and will use $95 million to build state-of-the-art laboratories.

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