Ryan Delaney

Reporter, Innovation Trail, Central New York

Ryan Delaney works on the Innovation Trail project - covering technology, economic development, startups and other issues relating to New York's innovation economy.

Ryan began his public radio career working for WAER in Syracuse while still in college, where his work was honored by the Syracuse Press Club. He then returned to Syracuse, N.Y. from Albany where he worked at WAMC. Prior to that, Ryan filed stories for The Allegheny Front in Pittsburgh.

His reporting has also been heard on NPR, Vermont Public Radio and New Hampshire Public Radio.

Ryan grew up in Burlington, Vt. He has a degree in broadcast journalism and international relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and Maxwell School at Syracuse University.

Ways To Connect

Marie Cusick / Innovation Trail

Two Syracuse University geology professors - along with a graduate assistant or two - are hurrying to collect water samples from drinking wells in the Southern Tier before - and if - the natural gas extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing is approved in New York.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) and Democrat Dan Lamb sat inside an Elks Lodge in Cortland passing a microphone back and forth for two hours Saturday. It was the first time the two debated in their contest for the newly drawn 22nd Congressional District that stretches from the Southern Tier through central New York.

OnTask / Flickr

Sean Branagan doesn't want to get any angry phone calls from the NCAA's lawyers for ripping off their idea, but he took inspiration from a certain national college basketball tournament, held every March, for a new student startup competition.

Destiny USA

The saga of the owner of the Destiny USA megamall and the city of Syracuse continues. The two appear destined to end up back in court as the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency (SIDA) plans to file a lawsuit against developer Robert Congel's Pyramid Group - the mall's owner - over parking lots.

Stephen Sartori / Say Yes to Education

Instead of trying to have as much pre-college life fun as possible, or maybe earning some spending cash for the upcoming semester, one of group of college-bound Syracuse teens spent the summer months getting a head start on college. They were rewarded for their efforts during a small ceremony at Onondaga Community College (OCC), where the 29 students are currently hitting the books, with a small ceremony.

Empire State Development

The ten regional economic development councils were back at it this week in their efforts to bring home as big a slice of three-quarters of a billion dollar state funding pie as possible. The councils released their progress reports and a new list of projects they think deserve cash in order to spur economic development and job creation in their regions.

Jinjian Liang / Flickr

Newly formed "land banks" in upstate New York are moving forward, despite uncertainties on just how they'll work - or be funded. The quasi-public entity in Syracuse recently presented a plan to the city to begin foreclosing on its approximately 3,900 vacant and tax delinquent properties, but there are still unanswered questions.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is criticizing campaign rhetoric used during one of last week’s state Senate primaries.  Three of the four Republican state senators who broke with the party to vote to legalize gay marriage last year faced tough primary battles September 13, and one of those contests turned particularly nasty in the closing days.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand did one of her bill-promoting swings through upstate New York on Friday. This one was for money to help cities redevelopment their once industrial waterfronts. The Democratic senator stopped in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse to promote the Waterfront Brownfields Redevelopment Act.

The 26 Neighborhoods Projects

Jamil Munoz grew up in Syracuse. He even moved around a couple times as a kid. Still, he had no idea there were so many different neighborhoods here.

Three years ago, while still in film school at Syracuse University, he came up with the idea to make a documentary about all of the city's different sections.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

There is a political debate going on this fall about government's role in supporting entrepreneurship and innovation.

It comes at a time when upstate New York continues to try and reinvent its economy. Small business incubators and accelerator programs are cropping up. The state has also made a major investment in creating a nanotech industry.

"The narrative that government is important? I don’t believe it’s true," says Carl Schramm.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Residents on Syracuse's north side could have a grocery store within walking distance again by the end of the year.

Syracuse's development agency approved tax breaks Thursday morning to help Tops Friendly Markets replace a Wegmans that left this summer.

Marie Cusick / WMHT

Transporting the millions of gallons of water, as well as equipment, sand, and other materials needed to hydraulically fracture a natural gas well requires quite a few truck trips, to put it mildly.

One well site could require up to 3,399 one-way truck trips [PDF], according to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation's 2011 draft environmental impact statement (dSGEIS) on hydrofracking.

All those trips by heavy trucks can quickly beat up and wear out roads if they're not built to handle it.

New York state Democrats are well-represented at the Democratic National Convention which began in Charlotte, North Carolina Tuesday. But not all Democrats from the region are attending.

Stu Gallagher / New York State Fair

The 2012 New York State Fair is over and in the books. The final day was a chance for some to hit the midway for the first time, and for others to squeeze in one last visit.

Matt Richmond / WSKG

The natural gas industry has responded quickly to a report we did last week on a new study looking at the potential harm from fracking wastewater treatment and removal.

The Innovation Trail spoke with John Krohn, Communications Director for Energy in Depth, an education and outreach arm of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

Krohn wrote a lengthy critique of Stony Brook University's report that can be read here.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is again trying to push incentives for woman-owned small businesses through Congress.

The senator was at Cathedral Corporation in Rome Friday afternoon to push the SUCCESS Act.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

One-hundred long days full of presentations, meetings with mentors and practicing investor pitches is all done.

The first-ever StartFast Venture Accelerator concluded Thursday morning with its Demo Day.

"Saying it was all hard would be an understatement," said Timothy Beckford, a founder of PadProof, a program to help professional photographers sell their pictures more easily. "It was a tremendous undertaking. We worked like crazy."

Nine companies entered StartFast back in May, but only eight made it through. The teams were given seed money, workspace and access to dozens of mentors.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Thirty-four teams got coaching from 115 mentors for three months in the Student Sandbox. Fifteen of those teams made it to Demo Day.

The Sandbox, a startup business accelerator for college students and recent graduates, wrapped up for the summer on Thursday.

Company founders presented their ideas and business platforms to a packed room of fellow startups and potential investors.

Matt Richmond / WSKG

A new study on managing wastewater produced by hydraulic fracturing finds the biggest risk of contamination to drinking water supplies occurs during the disposal process.

The report is by Stony Brook University and was published this month in the journal "Risk Analysis."

Central New York Representative Richard Hanna knows he comes down on the moderate side of his Republican colleagues in Congress.

Speaking this week during a visit to Central Square, which sits in the newly drawn 22nd congressional district he is running for re-election in, the first-term congressman talked about influences from his more conservative colleagues.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Twenty-nine students attending Onondaga Community College this fall through the Say Yes to Education program were so excited to hit the books, they started early.

They wrapped up OCC's Summer Success Academy yesterday with a small closing ceremony full of encouraging words from Say Yes and OCC staffers.

Guessing who Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney might pick to be his running mate is one of the most popular parlor games among political wonks at the moment.

While many politicians won't venture to guess who the GOP vice presidential nominee will be, one central New York office holder was willing to make a prediction.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Fixing the tax code and overhauling regulation is important for boosting small businesses, says Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barnevald), but he says in the long term, increasing science and math education is the key for the economy.

USACEpublicafairs / via Flickr

It's no guarantee, but the college internship can often lead to a job offer after graduation.

Economic development officials in Syracuse are hoping that getting more college students involved in internships at local, small businesses can help reduce the "brain drain" of young, educated people leaving the region.

CenterState CEO, an economic development agency, is ramping up its Project ION - Internship Opportunity Network - for another school year.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Economic development officials often joke that their favorite bird is the crane. Not the one with wings, mind you, but the kind you see on big construction sites.

So far in 2012, developers have put a fair number of cranes into the airspace above Syracuse. The city is seeing a big jump in the value of construction permits applied for.

Through May, $146,271,066 worth of permits have gone on the Division of Code Enforcement's books. That's more than full year totals for both 2009 ($136,534,880) and 2010 ($142,229,141). It is also well out-pacing 2011's numbers, when only about $30 million worth of construction had been applied for through May. Last year ended up finishing at $245,382,179.

That has people in city hall feeling positive about the city's economic outlook.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York’s track record on supporting economic development projects is hit and miss.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The governor said he had trouble following along with all the new technology on display at Cooper Crouse-Hinds in Syracuse, but he was certainly impressed.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was given a close-up look at a new laboratory paid for with state aid at the 115 year old lighting manufacturer Friday.

Crouse-Hinds, which got its start making simpler devices like traffic lights, now makes lighting and electrical equipment suitable for harsh and hazardous environments.

In December, it won a $300,000 Excelsior tax credit from the Empire State Development Corp to renovate part of its site and put in the new lab.

Institute for Veterans with Military Families

Popping the occasional Tylenol and drinking plenty of Red Bull are how Tom Voss and David Kendrick get through the long days at the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV).

Voss, 28, from Wuawatosa, Wis. and Kendrick, 25, from Rochester, are both Army veterans hoping to start their own businesses.

For eight days at Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), Voss, Kendrick and 25 other veterans spend 14 hours a day in classes learning how to be entrepreneurs.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Repetition is the name of the game to turn high schoolers into good entrepreneurs.

All this week, high school students taking part in an entrepreneurship boot camp at the South Side Innovation Center (SSIC) in Syracuse have been forced to practice pitching business ideas and cold-calling clients over-and-over.

"The practical piece is really key," says El-Java Abdul-Qadir, and instructor at SSIC.

This is the first year of the boot camp and twenty kids are taking part, but organizers are hoping it will get bigger next summer.

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