Press Release

Gillibrand Brings Clarkson University President to Committee Hearing in Washington, DC to Discuss Ways to Strengthen Local Economy, Create Jobs

Feb 1, 2012

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today introduced Clarkson University President Anthony Collins at the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee meeting to discuss ways Congress can help strengthen local economies and create jobs in the North Country.  

President Collins, a strong advocate for higher education–industrial partnerships that foster research, discovery and commercialization to advance sustainable energy solutions and technology innovation, focused his discussion on Clarkson University’s Young Entrepreneurs programs, and proposed ideas to help lower the cost of education while fostering entrepreneurship, as well as ways to support new start-up companies by changing burdensome regulations.

“With our world-class universities like Clarkson, innovative and bright minds, and a workforce that’s second to none, New York has what it takes to thrive in the economy of the future. We just have to put the right policies in place to harness its full potential,” Senator Gillibrand said. “I am so pleased to welcome President Collins to Washington. His ideas and input are critical to ensuring Congress is focused on the right strategies to grow our local economies.”

“To drive innovation and ultimately job creation, universities should be encouraged to invest their resources in startup companies in a way that protects university not-for-profit status so that fledgling companies are more developed and have a better chance of survival as they exit the university environment and once they exit campus they should be protected for a reasonable period from the myriad of rules and regulations that are designed for much larger and more mature organizations,” Tony Collins, President of Clarkson University said. “By inviting my comments and those of a high tech company executive to testify Senator Gillibrand has clearly demonstrated that she gets the connection between university research and industry as the basis of the innovation economy.”

President Collins serves as co-chair for the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, is the president of the Seaway Private Equity Corporation that invests in new technology companies based in St. Lawrence County, New York, and serves on the board for The Solar Energy Consortium, which mobilizes related resources in New York State. He is also the chair of New York’s Commission of Independent Colleges and Universities and chair of the National Association of Independent Technological Universities’ public relations committee, as well as serving on the boards of the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity, the NYS Business Council, and the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environment and Energy Systems.

The Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee’s meeting showcased ways business and economic development leaders from across the country are working to strengthen the economy and create jobs by increasing access to capital for small businesses, and strengthening workforce development to broaden the pool of skilled workers.