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Legislative Memo

Lev Ginsburg
Director of Government Afairs
T 518.465.7511 x207
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

S.3736-A (Alesi) / A.5181-A (Schimminger)

  Support

SUBJECT:

Academic Research Information Access Act

 

S.3736-A (Alesi) / A.5181-A (Schimminger)

DATE:

May 9, 2011

 

The Business Council of New York State supports this bill, which would establish an information access infrastructure to support and promote teaching, scholarship, research, innovation and economic growth. This legislation builds on recommendations found within the New York State Commission on Higher Education 2008 Final Report which identified academic libraries as key to maintaining global competitiveness in a knowledge and innovation-based economy. 

This legislation serves several purposes vital to ensuring New York’s economy is positioned to stabilize and grow, including supporting increased access and communication among our colleges and universities in support of their programs, and linking the work of our universities to that of the regional economies in which they operate.  Most importantly it provides a missing link between our research universities and the private sector, from mature firms to start-ups, where the importance of innovation is essential to furthering their growth.  This legislation will bridge the academic-industry divide through making available to the private sector, in particular those entrepreneurial and start-up companies, the same science, technical and medical publications needed by faculty-based researchers.  The money spent by public and private college, university and research libraries in New York to license online resources can have much greater impact if it is spent cooperatively through statewide shared licenses rather than individually. Not only can a wider array of online materials be made available to campuses and research libraries throughout the state, but through shared licensing, more affordable options for libraries at small campuses can support coursework for students in workforce development programs that are at the heart of our competitive state economy.

The Business Council supports this legislation which will provide a means for colleges and universities to leverage their collective investment in these online research licenses, while also providing a vehicle to link research and development resources and faculty with the regional, private sector economies across New York State.