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On March 13-15 2014, the New York Tech Valley region became home to a brand new FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) event. The event, titled FIRST® New York Tech Valley Regional Robotics Competition, took place on the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) campus located in Troy, New York. The competition was held in the state-of-the-art East Campus Athletic Village (ECAV) Arena.

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST® designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $16 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO®League (FLL®) for Grades 4-8; and Junior FIRST® LEGO®League (Jr.FLL®) for Grades K-3. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST®, go to www.usfirst.org.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is America’s first technological research university. For nearly 200 years, Rensselaer has been defining the scientific and technological advances of our world. Rensselaer faculty and alumni represent 84 members of the National Academy of Engineering, 17 members of the National Academy of Science, 25 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 8 members of the National Academy of Medicine, 7 members of the National Academy of Inventors, and 4 members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, as well as a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With 7,000 students and nearly 100,000 living alumni, Rensselaer is addressing the global challenges facing the 21st century—to change lives, to advance society, and to change the world. To learn more, go to www.rpi.edu.

New York's Tech Valley is a region that is brimming with opportunity and excitement. The area encompasses the Capital Region, Adirondacks/North Country, Hudson Valley and Mohawk Valley. Tech Valley offers rewarding career and business opportunities, world-class educational and research facilities, a vibrant arts and entertainment scene, and exhilarating year-round outdoor pursuits.

Driven by its rich tradition of innovation, the "Tech Valley" region is rapidly becoming recognized on the global scene as a premier site for the development of innovative, high technology companies. Tech Valley stretches from the Canadian border south to Westchester County and contains more than 1,000 technology companies providing more than 50,000 jobs. The companies of Tech Valley have an economic impact of $5 billion and an annual payroll of $2 billion.

Tech Valley is truly a learning "Mecca" as evidenced by 21 colleges and universities with 65,000 students. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Siena College and Union College have been ranked among the nation's most computer-savvy universities. The University at Albany and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are internationally renowned for their advanced technology research and development centers. In addition, Albany Medical College, Albany Law School, and Albany College of Pharmacy consistently lead the way in their fields and produce graduates highly sought after on the national level. For more information on New York's Tech Valley, go to: www.techvalley.org.