EDC Annual Luncheon Offers Innovative Vision For The Future


More than 250 business and community leaders gathered for EDC’s annual luncheon at Fort William Henry’s Carriage House Oct. 24 to listen to a bold idea: Lake George, the beneficiary of the world’s most sophisticated technological approach to freshwater research and protection, could become a national freshwater research center. The Jefferson Project, a collaboration between RPI, IBM Research and the Lake George Association, has for 10 years collected data with a goal of understanding the impact of human and natural activity on Lake George, how to mitigate those effects, and preserve Lake George’s legendary  water quality and clarity. The work positions Lake George to become a national source of expertise and research, a move that both amplifies the region’s contribution to conservation and holds potential for sustainable economic growth.

“It’s all been about the science informing solutions for the last 10 years,” said Dr. John Kelly III, a retired IBM scientist and executive who helped launch the Jefferson Project and guided a rapt audience through a review of its first decade. “The new thing we are trying to layer on is economic development and business.”

RPI President Dr. Martin Schmidt added his enthusiasm to the idea, noting the future of the United States is not held by a handful of well-endowed universities or super star cities. The Capital Region of New York – of which Warren County is the northern star — is at a jumping off point, Schmidt said, and the key ingredients for success are already here: organizations and individuals of vision committed to the region, capable of thinking long term and willing to work together.

EDC President Jim Siplon added in conclusion: “If you take the remarkable work that’s already been done, and build on it, thinking about what commercial enterprise should and can emerge from this amazing concentration of knowledge, of will, of success, all we have to do is get together and have the will to step into it”…to add the economic development case to the already compelling opportunity that lies before us.