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Regional Expertise in Indoor Air Quality Innovation Can Lead During COVID-19

By Rob Simpson


Gov. Andrew Cuomo [recently allowed] malls in Central New York and other regions that meet air-filtration and ventilation requirements to begin to reopen starting [July 10]. And he has encouraged businesses, schools, nursing homes, and residence facilities to also install powerful filters and ventilation systems. This focus on indoor air quality and ventilation follows new research that suggests airborne transmission of the coronavirus is more common than previously understood. 

At a time when the world is looking to innovations to improve ventilation and filtration of indoor air, Central New York is well-positioned to play a critical role in helping businesses and institutions meet new requirements to support their reopening. For more than two decades, we’ve advanced an ambitious industry sector strategy to leverage our region’s expertise in air-handling and air-quality technologies, led by employers, such as Carrier and more. That early research led to the creation of the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Energy and Environmental Systems, and a series of robust investments in technology, innovation, and manufacturing in the areas of thermal and environmental controls. 

Today, our regional leadership and industrial foundation has never been more relevant and regional firms, including Carrier Corporation, Healthway, Air Innovations, and Bitzer Scroll, are seeing new demand for their products in the wake of COVID-19. Beyond accelerating our recovery and strengthening Central New York’s economy, these companies are leading innovations that enable other communities to reopen businesses more safely by reducing the spread of the coronavirus, potentially saving not only jobs but also lives. 

CenterState CEO is working with many of these regional companies to help them understand new regulations and seize on emerging market opportunities to advance this region’s legacy of innovation and expertise in leading globally relevant technology and manufacturing. To learn more about our work in advocating for businesses in this sector, contact Kevin Schwab at

Robert M. (Rob) Simpson is president and CEO of CenterState CEO, the primary economic-development organization for Central New York. This viewpoint is drawn and edited from the “CEO Focus” email newsletter that the organization sent to members on July 9. 

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