Regional Engagement

One aspirational vision presented by our center directors, President, and Board of Trustees was leadership along the entire route of the Hudson River, from the Adirondacks to New York City. This is a role that Rensselaer has played since 1824, when the resources of the Mohawk and Hudson Valleys shaped New York City as a center of finance and trade—and when this region was a hotbed of innovation in transportation and civil engineering. RPI needs to be seen as the “convener” and visibly leading the region to enhance the economy by bringing together all of the key partners.  

Today, our opportunities still reach north to Lake George, and the amazing work being done at the Darrin Fresh Water Institute—as well as south to New York City, where our presence is expanding with our new centers.  Additionally, opportunities like the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 present Rensselaer with the opportunity to deepen our partnership with regional, national, and international businesses to grow the regional economy.  


We need to deliberately amplify the strengths of this region in a way that lifts all boats. As turnarounds in cities throughout the country have shown, university leadership in economic development is key—because, by definition, we are focused on the technologies and industries of the future. These public and private partnerships have shown the power of deliberate strategies to grow regional economies.  As noted above, the passage of the CHIPS Act and its support for domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research is a tremendous opportunity and one that RPI and the region must leverage.  Biomedical manufacturing, gaming, and other examples of areas where Rensselaer will play an important role by linking all of the interested parties to bring more industry to the Hudson Valley.  

We need to work closely with regional partners to realize these opportunities—including our neighboring schools, colleges and universities, medical centers, and government and industry leaders. Together, we can advance the Capital Region as an innovation hub.

Framing Questions

  • With what institutions should we seek to engage?
  • How do we scale up the work?
  • How do we prioritize the key areas of focus? 
  • What are the opportunities where partnership makes the most sense?
    • Research
    • Education
    • Translation
    • Economic Development
  • What is the best way to map the opportunities to the relevant partners?
  • How can RPI build trust with all of the potential partners and be a convener?
  • What are the barriers to RPI being a convener?

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