The New York Capital Region Research Alliance (NY Cap) was established in 2012 by Albany Medical Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University at Albany with a $950,000 grant as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative. Created to foster biomedical research among the Capital Region’s leading academic research institutions, the Alliance is a first-round Capital Region Economic Development Council (CREDC) priority project.
The Alliance is designed to spur economic growth, formalize existing collaboration and foster additional cooperation among numerous biomedical research entities located in New York’s Capital Region to attract notable biomedical research talent to the region; leverage research-related investments and increase the amount of supported biomedical research underway in the region; identify opportunities for development of products as a result of research and secure seed funding for their commercialization; encourage development of businesses producing biomedical interventions and devices; and bring new opportunity to the region and create new jobs in a sector that can be expected to continue to grow.
Establishing a Strong Foundation
Founders of the Alliance, Albany Medical Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University at Albany, each bring distinctive strengths in biomedical research, including expertise in:
- Clinical research, medical diagnostics and treatment;
- Computation and bioengineering; and
- Life sciences, RNA and Nano sciences.
Each institution possesses state-of-the-art specialized laboratories and facilities to support continued research. Scientists at the three institutions have collaborated on multiple projects, sharing equipment as needed and available.
Initial Seed Funding
Building upon the strengths of the Alliance founders, and with $745,000 in initial seed funding, ten grants were awarded to collaborative projects with high translational significance in areas such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and other neurodegenerative diseases as well as regenerative medicine.
Projects were funded based on their ability to advance the targeted biomedical research areas and with their potential for translation and commercialization. Collaboration was also an important prerequisite for funding. Proposals had to demonstrate how the projects would involve scientists from at least two of the three institutions.
In total, 33 proposals were reviewed and ranked by an independent scientific evaluation organization; ten were recommended for funding by the Alliance.
The grants are intended to help the successful research teams advance their ideas so that broader and highly competitive proposals can be submitted to the National Institutes of Health or other funding agencies.
Following the NY Cap Research Alliance initial SEED grants announcement, the partners will share preliminary details regarding a regional research symposium designed to recruit additional industry partners to fortify the initiative.