Kate O'Connell

Reporter, Innovation Trail, Finger Lakes

WXXI/Finger Lakes Reporter for the Innovation Trail

Kate O’Connell comes to WXXI from Melbourne, Australia, and studied journalism at Royal Melboure Institute of Technology.

During her studies, Kate was a freelance journalist, reporting from Nepal and Haiti, and worked with the media team of the United Nations partner group, International Organization for Migration.

Kate's experience also includes work for the Shepparton News, Australian Broadcasting Company, Melbourne’s Channel 31, RRR radio and WIN television.

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Using a now-familiar travel routine, Governor Andrew Cuomo made his sixth tour of New York's regions to monitor the progress of projects funded through the Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC).

Bureau of Economic Analysis

Personal income growth in New York state remained below the national average in 2011, a new report shows. Figures from the Bureau of Economic Analysis show growth in some areas of New York were almost 2 percentage points below the national average of 5.2 percent.

An upstate school is adding a structure that generates its own energy, heating and cooling using renewable energy sources for its teaching spaces. The Harley School in Rochester broke ground on the $3 million project Monday.

An upstate company has developed a system for motorcycle helmets that could have applications for both defensive driving and sports. A system of sensors alerts riders when the helmet has damage that might not be visible, but could compromise safety.

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The success of the burgeoning yogurt industry has helped the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) be named the Industrial Development Agency of the year in upstate New York, for their work in developing the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia.

Upstate communities are reaching out to women working in the sustainable economy. This week, community group Greenworks Buffalo Niagara hosted the first in a series of events for  "green" women, and many are still bumping their heads against the glass ceiling.

Cybersecurity and technology companies have converged on upstate New York for the HackerFest technology trade show this week. And new technologies are emerging to step up security and pre-empt the strategies of cyber criminals.

Business leaders and IT professionals from across the Northeast will come together to learn about the latest developments in cybersecurity at the HackerFest trade show in upstate New York.

Upstate social work programs are aiming to provide better rural services for veterans and their families. Universities from across upstate New York, including in Rochester, Buffalo, Albany and Syracuse, are taking part in a program funded by the Department of Health and Human Services to train students in remote areas.

Eastman Kodak

Kodak has launched a free iPhone app to help photography enthusiasts in the U.S and Europe work with their film stock.

The Rochester Institute of Technology has launched a venture fund to help boost economic development in the region. Businesses with ties to the university will be eligible for funding through the fund.

Mercy Flight Central, an upstate medical air service, shut down operations while hurricane Sandy blew over. Due to high wind warnings, they were not able to fly patients.

Cornell University and IBM have announced the winner of a competition involving the Watson computer, made famous by a recent win on the TV show Jeopardy. Students involved in the 48-hour competition put forward ideas for new ways to use the computer.

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Senator Charles Schumer says a new center to open in Rochester will be a model for cities all over the state and the nation. He made the statement at the launch of the new center for urban entrepreneurship in the city.

Paul Hudson / Flickr

A return to normal winter weather means New Yorkers can expect to see a rise in their heating bills. Those using natural gas to heat their homes will see higher bills despite a 12 percent drop in pricing.

Student debt levels rose by five percent last year according to a study by the Institute for College Access and Success.

Eight companies will share in $4.2 million to help streamline patient care coordination and medical record sharing in New York state. The early-to-middle stage health IT companies will receive up to $300,000 each.

Kate O'Connell / WXXI

A western New York photonics manufacturing company has received a $973,000 grant from the National Institute of Health. The two year grant awarded to Lumetrics, is for the development of a clinically tested retinal imaging tool prototype.

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It’s the staple of just about everything. From dinner parties, to weekend shenanigans, to church, wine is a big part of our lives – and it’s a big part of the economy, too.

Upstate New York is having a hard time getting over the recession. Unemployment in upstate rose to 8.5 percent in August, close to one percentage point higher than during August 2011, according to a new report from the New York State Department of Labor. New York’s rate peaked above the national trend, and this month Governor Andrew Cuomo started an initiative to help address the issue.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

A new report from the New York Federal Reserve shows that advances in technology and globalization mean job opportunities are growing at both ends of the skill spectrum, but not in the middle.

SensGard LLC. makes hearing protection, but not the kind that you might be used to. Instead of large, wooly earmuffs they are producing small, foldable hearing protectors that look like ear plugs on the end of a headband.

The Cornell Center for Material Research (CCMR) in Ithaca, has announced the winners for the Fall 2012 JumpStart program.

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