Empire State Development (ESD) has announced three new Digital Gaming Hubs in New York state at New York University (NYU), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). The Digital Gaming Hubs, selected through a request for proposals process, will receive $150,000 each per year for three years.
“The new Digital Gaming Hubs will encourage students and businesses to create new innovative technologies,” said Empire State Development President, CEO, and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “This funding will also help entrepreneurs and startups develop new products and spur economic growth throughout New York state.”
Objectives of the Digital Gaming Hubs are to:
- Create collaborative activities that bring together industry, higher education, nonprofit organizations, students, and individuals to foster the creation of new games or companies
- Provide resources and mentoring to encourage students and entrepreneurs to enter the growing industry
- Assist existing companies with gaming concepts, technologies, and trends
- Host events focused on assisting the gaming community
- Increase the economic impact to New York as a result of fostering innovation.
Funding included in the 2014-2015 executive budget allowed for the creation of three Digital Gaming Hubs. The universities will sustain this designation through May 31, 2018.
The Digital Gaming Hubs will allow NYU, RPI, and RIT to showcase their talented students and to further connect these campuses with industry leaders to develop creative, groundbreaking games. All three institutions are deserving of this innovative grant.”—Laura Anglin, CiCU
According to Ben Chang, associate professor and director of the Rensselaer Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences program, “There is tremendous talent and creativity in games, here in the Tech Valley region and throughout New York state—university researchers discovering new ways of using games in education and health care, nonprofits teaching game design to kids and building creative communities, and game developers of all kinds constantly reinventing the medium. We’re honored to be selected as one of three Digital Gaming Hubs, and excited to be working with our partners in the local community and across the state to take game development in New York to the next level.”
“The Digital Gaming Hubs will allow NYU, RPI, and RIT to showcase their talented students and to further connect these campuses with industry leaders to develop creative, groundbreaking games. All three institutions are deserving of this innovative grant,” said Laura Anglin, president of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (cIcu), a statewide association for more than 100 private, not-for-profit colleges and universities in New York state.
Senator Martin Golden, New York State Senate Chair of the Select Committee on Science, Technology, Incubation and Entrepreneurship, said, “These awards will make New York more competitive in this $70 billion a year global industry, which includes $25 billion in the U.S. This industry is larger than movies, music, and other digital downloads, and these three New York universities receiving the awards graduate some of the top designers and computer engineers in the world. Unfortunately, too many of these graduates and the companies they start move to other states, including California, Texas, and Washington. This funding should help us grow New York’s $276 million share of the world market, and exponentially increase the 1,650 very well-compensated employees currently employed in this sector. Funding these three hubs will also encourage entrepreneurs who are creating the next generation of games to come or remain, and grow in New York.”
Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle said, “Thanks to the continued support of Governor Cuomo, New York’s high-tech economy is on the move and you can see and feel the many exciting changes taking place all around us. Today’s designation will further equip RIT, RPI, and NYU with the resources needed to continue paving the way with groundbreaking digital gaming research and development. Most importantly, these investments will ultimately strengthen our state’s economy, create new jobs, and advance New York’s position as a national leader in digital media development.”