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Cuomo announces Tech Garden to add two floors and drone corridor between Syracuse and Rome is complete

By Eric Reinhardt

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A rendering of how the Tech Garden will look after a $16.5 million project to add two floors to the existing structure at 235 Harrison St. in Syracuse. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the project on Tuesday, along with the completion of the drone corridor between Syracuse and Griffiss International Airport in Rome. (Rendering provided by Gov. Cuomo’s office)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Tech Garden in downtown Syracuse will add two floors, and the state-supported 50-mile drone corridor between Syracuse and Rome is complete.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday made both announcements at Million Air Hangar near Syracuse Hancock International Airport.

Tech Garden expansion

The Tech Garden, currently housed in an existing one-story facility located at 235 Harrison St. in Syracuse, will add a second and third floor to the building with 46,000 square feet of additional incubation and acceleration space.

Empire State Development is assisting the expansion project with up to $12.5 million made available through the CNY Rising Upstate Revitalization Initiative plan.

The project’s total cost of $16.5 million, and the additional $4 million will come from a “variety” of other sources, Elle Hanna, director of communications and media relations at CenterState CEO, tells CNYBJ in an email.

The Tech Garden expects the renovation work to be completed in March 2021.

The expansion will allow the Tech Garden to house 100 resident-members and allow space for the incubators’ 200 virtual-members; will help the incubator to attract more UAS and loT (Internet of Things) companies; establish programs for “mature company innovation” and support the targeted “Drone Zone,” which will include dedicated spaces that will cater to UAS industry businesses that want to move to the region.

UAS is short for unmanned aircraft system. A UAS includes a drone and equipment used to control its flight. A drone is also referred to in the industry as an unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV.

The startup incubator is also home to the Genius NY UAS competition, which is now entering its fourth round.

The expanded Tech Garden will serve as the anchor of Syracuse’s City Center Innovation Hub, a “core component” of the Syracuse Surge strategy. It will also be the gateway to the “Innovation Alley” on Warren Street in Syracuse.

Drone corridor

Cuomo also used his Tuesday appearance to announce the completion of the state-supported 50-mile unmanned traffic management drone corridor, which runs from Syracuse to the state UAS test site at Griffiss International Airport in Rome.

Cuomo had announced the $30 million drone-corridor project in November 2016.

The “first-in-the-nation corridor is the most advanced drone testing corridor in the nation,” Cuomo’s office contends.

With the needed infrastructure now in place, companies will be able to test both unmanned aircraft system platforms and UAS traffic management (UTM) technologies in “real world settings,” generating data that will inform the industry and regulators and “taking us one step closer” toward the routine commercial use of drones.

The completion of the corridor “advances” the regions’ collective strategy to accelerate and support emerging uses of UAS in key industries, including agriculture and forest management, transportation and logistics, media and film development, utilities, and infrastructure and public safety.

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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