September 28, 2009 / 6:17 PM / 10 years ago

NY universities fail to harness research for jobs

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York’s universities and hospitals excel at winning federal grants but flunk at turning their research into job-creating start-ups, a new report found on Monday.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor David Paterson have launched initiatives to match the high-tech research corridors developed by other states and cities, from Boston to California’s Silicon Valley. But New York’s institutions have focused on working with companies located elsewhere, the study said.

New York’s universities and teaching hospitals have underfunded engineering and failed to encourage professors or students to become entrepreneurs, according to the report by the Center for an Urban Future.

The think-tank said New York City’s expensive real estate and the lack of laboratory space make it difficult for start-ups to get off the ground

While the New York metropolitan area led the nation in spending on research and development in 2006, at $2.9 billion, it lags on business development.

Only six New York companies made an annual ranking of technology, media, telecommunications and life science companies compiled by Deloitte, the financial consulting firm.

In contrast, the San Francisco Bay Area had 88 companies on the Deloitte 2008 Technology Fast survey, Los Angeles had 50, Washington, D.C., had 47, and Boston 41.

New York also lags sharply in venture capital funding.

While New York keeps banks and brokerages in Manhattan, along with related service industries, because of the easy access and informal networks Wall Street’s central location provides, the city has failed to develop a similar network for non-financial start-ups.

“The city lacks a deeply ingrained high-tech ‘ecosystem’ that allows for frequent, casual interactions between the web of people who form the core of any dynamic tech sector: scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, VC and angel investors, tech transfers offices and patent lawyers,” the report said.

Some encouraging steps have been taken, however, including recent forums and Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s backing for a new bioscience park, it said.

Reporting by Joan Gralla; Editing by Leslie Adler

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