Saratoga County

Developers push for construction of technology work space

Advisory council formed to plan facility
Marty Vanags, president of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, gives an address May 9, 2017.
Marty Vanags, president of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, gives an address May 9, 2017.

The effort to bring the next big thing to Saratoga County continues, with formation of an advisory council to plan a new facility with flexible space for high-tech business and education.

The Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership on Wednesday announced creation of the council, and announced that it will be led by Gary Patton, chief technology officer of GlobalFoundries, which operates a computer chip factory in Luther Forest. The advisory council has several functions, chief among them shaping the Next Wave Center, a facility that would serve as a short-term launching pad for high-tech companies considering locating here.

The name “Next Wave” is a clue to the mission, as the Prosperity Partnership — the county’s designated economic development organization — tries to build on the presence of the massive chip factory.

“What’s the next big thing for Saratoga County?” said Marty Vanags, president of the Partnership. “What else can we do to make Luther Forest more viable? What are we missing? What should we be doing?”

The advisory council announced Wednesday is designed to bring together business leaders from within and beyond the region to answer those questions. In doing so it will shape the Next Wave Center, which was first envisioned two years ago and still is in the conceptual stage.

The physical details of the building such as square footage and location are yet to be determined, but there is a more specific ideal of what its mission and purpose will be, Vanags said: It will offer flexible space for education institutions; for development of new technologies and new opportunities; and for the supply-chain companies that Patton called vital to the growth of high-tech industry.

The idea of flex space is important, as the Next Wave Center could be any combination of office, warehouse, training and co-working areas. By design, some of the tenants will be short-term, Vanags said. It will provide them an easy entry point to the market without a large commitment of resources and money, he said. While they’re in Next Wave, they can be convinced to set up a more permanent presence in the county.

Vanags recalled that when he arrived at the newly created Prosperity Partnership two years ago, he soon began talking to the semiconductor industry and just as quickly heard of its desire for short-term space.

“If we can provide a space for them to land on a short-term basis … they’ll look outside their window, so to speak, and invest here,” he said.

Vanags said a site near GlobalFoundries or the Saratoga Energy + Technology Park would be ideal for the Next Wave Center, but no location has been determined yet.

Nor is there a schedule for construction.

“I think personally it’s needed now, but we want to do this once, do it right,” Vanags said.

He said the new advisory council will help make that happen.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have the caliber of people we’ve recruited for this,” Vanags said. He added that Patton — who is also senior vice president of worldwide research and development for GlobalFoundries — is a good person to lead the council.

“He’s very interested not only in the prospects for his company but for the community as well,” he said.

Council members

Members of the newly announced Next Wave Advisory Council include:

  • Dave Anderson, president and CEO, SEMI Americas
  • Brenda Lubrano-Birken, senior legal counsel, SI Group
  • Brendan Chudy, attorney, GlobalFoundries 
  • Chris Covell, president, SmartWatt
  • Miriam Dushane, managing director, upstate New York, Linium Recruiting
  • Michael Fancher, senior staff associate, SUNY Polytechnic Institute
  • Vinny Guerriero, general manager, process diagnostics and control, Applied Materials
  • Penny Hill, associate dean, Hudson Valley Community College TEC SMART
  • Tom Nardacci, founder, Troy Innovation Garage
  • Gary Patton, chief technology officer, GlobalFoundries 
  • Laurie Poltynski, regional executive, National Grid
  • Noah Shaw, general counsel, NYSERDA
  • Abe Sultan, vice president of engineering, Apprenda
  • Bruce Toyama, vice president of product development, BessTech
  • Matt Veitch, asset management specialist, Verizon
  • Rick Whitney, CEO, M+W Group Americas Region
  • Shaun Wiggins, co-founder, Soteryx

Categories: Business, News, Schenectady County

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