DAVID ORENSTEIN Business writer
Section: MAIN,  Page: A1

Date: Wednesday, March 11, 1998

If regions had fashions, the trend of the '90s would be a label that makes a region seem like the place to be for technology business. The Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce has unveiled its Spring '98 line: ``Techneurial Valley'' -- or, to make it brief, ``Tech Valley.''

The chamber's hope is that by attaching the label as the region's broad array of technology companies grows, the area will capture the imagination of technology workers and investors.

Chamber officials point out that, after all, the region is already competing economically with similar sites in northern California; Los Angeles; eastern Massachusetts; Portland, Ore.; Austin, Texas; North Carolina; New York City; Long Island.

A label or brand name is important in styling the area as attractive to technology workers, said chamber President Wallace Altes.

The Capital Region is home to a little-known but significant cluster of growing companies in industries ranging from biotechnology to advanced optics to computer software.

Altes told a meeting of the Times Union editorial board Tuesday that the chamber wouldn't confine the Tech Valley label to the Capital Region. It could run from IBM's Westchester County facilities to Saratoga Springs and up the Mohawk Valley, he said.

Altes said he hopes the whole region will wear the label proudly. ``A rising tide raises all boats in Tech Valley,'' said Tim Hulbert, Altes' counterpart in Rensselaer County. FACTS:Wired nicknames Tech Valley - which should range from Westchester County to the Mohawk Valley - joins a long list of regional technology centers: 1 Silicon Valley, northern California 2 Digital Coast, Los Angeles 3 Silicon Forest, Portland, Ore. 4 Silicon Hills, Austin, Texas 5 Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 6 Silicon Alley, New York City 7 Tech Island, Long Island 8 Tech Valley, Upstate New York 9 Route 128 Corridor, Massachusetts