New Initiative in Downtown Buffalo to Boost Startup Community
$32 Million Investment Will Match Students, Faculty, Clinicians and Researchers with Resources to Commercialize Innovations
Partners Include Top Industry Leaders, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Jacobs Institute, Hauptmann-Woodward Institute and Kaleida Health
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the official launch of the University at Buffalo's Innovation Hub, a new initiative designed to help connect ideas to action and move research from the lab to the marketplace. The Innovation Hub is funded through a $32 million Empire State Development grant commitment from New York State, and supports innovation at UB and its leading research partners, including Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Jacobs Institute, Hauptmann-Woodward Medical Research Institute and Kaleida Health.
"Western New York's world-class academic institutions, like the University at Buffalo, are proven catalysts in the development of dynamic life science and technology hubs across the state," Governor Cuomo said. "Through strategic investments and local partnerships, this Innovation Hub will bring together the very best and brightest in the tech industry, growing the region's innovation economy for generations to come."
"From our historic grain elevators, to the invention of electric cars and air conditioning, Buffalo is well known as a robust center of innovation," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who spoke at the event. "The new University at Buffalo Innovation Hub will build upon this legacy as part of our continuing efforts to grow the tech economy and create good-paying jobs in Buffalo and across Western New York. The Innovation Hub will support emerging partnerships and foster collaboration with the brightest minds at UB and throughout the entrepreneurial community to ensure even greater success for our region."
The Innovation Hub will make it make it easier for students and faculty researchers at UB and its partner institutions to take their ideas from the lab to the marketplace, supporting commercialization of technologies and ultimately growing private investment and jobs in Western New York. UB and its partners collectively bring more than $412 million in annual research outflows, 30,000 students, and more than 3,000-plus faculty who are focused on making new discoveries and advances in medical device technology, diagnostics, healthcare delivery, software applications, materials, imaging, sustainability and other diverse innovative developments.
Several updates on the advancement of the Innovation Hub were shared with attendees and affiliates at the event, with developments coming in three key areas:
- The planning, design and renovation of UB's New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences into incubation and entrepreneur support space is underway and expected to open in early 2020. The space, which will be a designated START-UP NY-eligible location, will be made available to companies affiliated with UB and partner organizations. The university will also utilize various portions of the facility for entrepreneur support programs, events, education and related services.
- Initial investments through the Innovation Hub's $13.5 million fund have commenced with a focus on fueling proof-of-concept opportunities and pre-seed/seed growth. As a result, seven proof of concept accelerator fund awardees have been selected, and the fund is expected to ramp up activity later this year, with additional funding announcements expected soon.
- Outreach engagement and support programming to best serve and guide founders and startups through the various phases of development is underway. This outreach, curriculum and programming is being introduced and implemented.
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "By leveraging the diverse portfolio of ideas, research, technologies and innovations from UB and its partners, and coupling them with funding, incubation and support services, we have the necessary pieces to create a globally-recognized hub for start-up business formation and commercialization."
UB President Satish K. Tripathi said, "The Innovation Hub is a natural extension of our university's work to showcase and expand the type of collaboration that is constantly on display between our faculty experts, students, research partners, and the surrounding startup community. UB is committed to fostering an environment where entrepreneurship can grow and flourish in and across our region, and the Innovation Hub concept is a critical component in that effort."
UB Associate Vice President for Economic Development Christina Orsi said, "The Innovation Hub will bridge the gap between innovations and the marketplace, connecting students, faculty and entrepreneurs to the funding, facilities and talent that are needed to bring an idea to life."
Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, "This $32 million investment from the Governor's Buffalo Billion to help launch the University at Buffalo's Innovation Hub will help connect the region's best and brightest medical and technology researchers with the resources to help them bring their innovations to the public. This will in turn help create a culture of innovative Start-Ups that create jobs, attracting more talent and investment to Buffalo."
Senator Tim Kennedy said, "As Buffalo's medical corridor continues to evolve and expand, we need to ensure that we're linking Western New York's healthcare leaders with students and faculty who are leading progressive and exceptional research. Through the launch of the University at Buffalo's Innovation Hub, New York State is creating a foundation for those collaborations, and fostering life-changing ideas and cutting-edge therapies that will change the face of medicine statewide and across the nation."
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, "UB student entrepreneurs and faculty at the University of Buffalo are on the cutting edge of the future in medical sciences and healthcare delivery, and their research and advances will now reach the marketplace and begin saving lives event faster with the creation of the Innovation Hub. Working with research partners from across the healthcare spectrum, UB's sharpest research minds will be able to move their concepts from the drawing board and computer screen into real-life usage, and will change the idea of how we provide and deliver health care in the process."
City of Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown said, "The Innovation Hub will cement and enhance Buffalo as a place that fosters partnerships between the educational, health and start-up communities. This adds new fuel to our City and region's fast-growing and evolving economy. I thank Governor Cuomo, Empire State Development Corporation and the University of Buffalo for their continued efforts to create an environment where innovation can flourish."
In the coming weeks, a series of additional announcements are expected to be made in relation to the Innovation Hub, including an investment fund update, incubator space preview and various profiles on existing startups, researchers and collaborators that have already been successfully utilizing the collective resources of the hub. To learn more about the Innovation Hub, click here.
About the University at Buffalo Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships office
Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships (BEP) is building bridges between academia and industry by developing partnerships to collaborate on research and development, commercialize new technology and provide students with opportunities for experiential learning and employment.
In the process, we're transforming the innovation economy of Western New York, New York State and beyond. Startups grow in UB incubators. Faculty members get funding for breakthrough research. Students engage in hands-on learning and launch careers. Businesses expand by licensing and commercializing technology, testing products in university labs, and enriching their potential with an educated, experienced team passionate about developing disruptive technology and bringing it to market.
The University at Buffalo's investment in fostering local companies will bolster the Buffalo region's reputation as one of the country's most entrepreneurial metro areas. The research and work being done in Western New York through these businesses will help solve current and future problems leading to local, national and global impact. To learn more about UB BEP, click here.