Welcome NPR Music listeners!

Mar 10, 2011

Here's a big welcome going out to everyone who's visiting the Innovation Trail because you listened to our "Trailblazers" mix at NPR Music.  We're glad you came!

(If you're already an Innovation Trail reader, check it out: NPR music is featuring a mix we made of innovative musicians who changed the world!)

What's the Innovation Trail all about?  We're a reporting collaboration across five public broadcasters, doing stories about how technology and the economy are changing the fortunes of upstate New York.

Here's your Innovation Trail 101.

We report stories about important trends in upstate's economy, cool breakthroughs, and the people who are changing the way we think about our world.  We get our funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and are one of seven local journalism centers that are working to improve the depth and quality of local journalism coming out of public broadcasters.

Here are some of our favorite stories over our short life as a project:

EnvironmentThe Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has netted New York nearly $300 million.  That's the good news reports WSKG's Emma Jacobs.  The bad news is that states are starting to rethink their participation in the project, and some (New York included) have used proceeds from the program to plug budget gaps - rather than holes in the ozone.

DesignTruckers can wind up spending what an average American makes in a year, just on fuel - and those costs are only going up.  But a group of researchers at Clarkson University may have an engineering solution to the inefficiency of the standard semi-truck design, reports WRVO's Ryan Morden.

EntrepreneurshipA business incubator in Buffalo is offering free rent and help connecting entrepreneurs to the services they need to succeed.  The catch, according to WNED's Daniel Robison, is that you have to stick around.

HydrofrackingBuffalo is only the second city in the nation (after Pittsburgh) to ban hydrofracking in its limits, writes Daniel Robison.

HealthWXXI's Zack Seward reports that med students in Rochester are practicing their bedside manner en espanol, as they seek certification under a new program specializing in serving Latino patients.

Doubling down: Hornell has always been a train making town.  But as orders for public transportation vehicles decline, it's getting harder to defend that strategy, reports Emma Jacobs.

ReinventionA building in Syracuse is continuing its journey from synagogue, to playhouse, to LEED certified eco-friendly hotel, reports Ryan Morden.

Autos"Buying local" takes on a new meaning at the Buffalo Auto Show, when the products are made by some of your buddies who still work on the line, reports Daniel Robison.

Righteous indignationZack Seward on why Newsweek is wrong when it calls Rochester a "dying" city.

We also continue to report extensively about wind power, natural gas drilling in the Marcellus shale, New York State politics, and more.

Think we might be your cup of tea?  Why not subscribe to our feed, follow us on Twitter, or friend us on Facebook, so you can keep up with news from across upstate New York about technology and the economy?

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If you're in the mood for browsing, here are the other local journalism centers funded by CPB:

And be on the look-out for projects being launched soon by a consortium of southern public broadcasters (looking at education), and a group of northwest stations covering the environment.