Courtesy photo / Syracuse Center of Excellence

Investments in research take a while to pay dividends.

So says Dr. Karin Pavese, director of innovation at the New York Academy of Sciences.

At a biotechnology symposium in Syracuse Tuesday, Pavese told attendees there's great growth potential in state-backed research. But since the fruits of those investments often take many years to bloom, Pavese says politicians are often hesitant to pony up key funding.

One job created in the innovation work force - like a research position - creates three additional jobs, according to Pavese.

But standing in the way is something called the "valley of death."

Zack Seward / WXXI

Bob Juncosa has a passion for old airplanes.

"This is one of the models that I made," Juncosa says. "This is a 1915 Sopwith Pup."

Juncosa points to a photo on his smartphone. It's an old biplane built to quarter scale. It has a wingspan of about eight feet.

Asked why he builds vintage airplanes, Juncosa says it's pretty much the same reason he runs a biotech company.

"It's the challenge of 'No one's done that, now let's see if we can go do that,' " Juncosa says. The tricky part with both a biplane and a company, he says, is to "get it off the ground and make it work."