Incentives Help UNY Universities Support Innovation

By Virginia Limmiatis

Photo credit: 2018 SUNY


Economic development incentives from National Grid are helping to support the development of business incubators at two major North Country universities.  The company’s grants are supporting building renovations at both SUNY Canton and Clarkson University to house new space for entrepreneurial, clean tech businesses to launch and grow.

“We’re eager to support the kinds of high-growth new businesses that eventually will be headquartered at these schools, creating clean tech industry jobs,” said National Grid regional executive Alberto Bianchetti.

National Grid provided a $250,000 grant award to SUNY Canton through the company’s CleanTech Incubation Program to support an $8.8 million renovation taking place at Dana Hall to include the 8,250-square foot SUNY Canton Entrepreneurship Accelerator. The building also will eventually house classrooms, laboratories and office space for campus police. Dana Hall had previously been the college’s athletic facility.

“We are excited to be able to put Dana Hall to full use, growing our programs and helping our community through entrepreneurship and economic development,” said President Zvi Szafran. “The funding from National Grid is invaluable to these efforts.”

About 12 miles to the east, Clarkson University is undertaking a similar project, as renovation work there will result in the creation of additional incubator space on the second floor of Damon Hall.

The $3.1 million Damon Hall renovation is part of Clarkson University’s $36.7 million Campus Revitalization Project, which transforms dormant downtown Potsdam facilities into a business hub.

National Grid’s $100,000 CleanTech incentive helps to fund the most recent phase of the Damon Hall project which will cover costs related to the renovation and expansion of the building’s second floor.

As part of this multi-phase initiative, the university also had received a National Grid Brownfield Redevelopment Grant totaling $300,000, which was used toward costs related to asbestos removal and building remediation.

“These funds will help us continue our work to provide inventors and entrepreneurs with the ability to fully commercialize their products, connect with potential investors, and utilize Clarkson University faculty and student resources to bring their ideas to life,” said Matt Draper, Interim Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations & Executive Director of the Shipley Center.

National Grid’s CleanTech Incubation program supports the development of a self-sustaining entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem in upstate New York. The company’s Brownfield Redevelopment program provides grants to fund utility-related infrastructure improvements and remediation costs necessary to progress the redevelopment of a brownfield site or vacant building.

Both programs are among a suite of economic development programs offered by National Grid. More information about the programs can be found at

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