University Impact

Published October 18, 2019

As one of the nation’s leading public research universities, the University at Buffalo has a profound impact across broad and diverse areas through civic engagement and economic development. The work being done at UB has a substantial economic impact on the Buffalo Niagara region and New York State. The university has active partnerships with local and global businesses and industry, and plays a central role in the alignment and enhancement of the region’s health care, biotechnology and clinical research, and medical education. Through broad programs and partnerships, UB is an integral part of  regional, statewide, national and global communities.

New York State Impact

UB supports thousands of jobs in the state of New York. Jobs attributable to the university(both full-time and part-time) include not only direct employment by the university, but also indirect and induced jobs created by supply and equipment vendors; contractors; and laborers for university facilities improvements; and jobs created in the community at hotels, restaurants, and retail stores in support of the university’s workforce and its visitors.

Western New York Impact

Guided by the UB 2020 vision, the university is playing an all-important role in the revitalization of Buffalo. With the establishment of UB’s Downtown Campus, the university offers its academic excellence and research innovation through a three-campus network, including a suburban North Campus in Amherst, N.Y. and South Campus in Buffalo’s University Heights district. Located on and around the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, UB’s downtown presence aligns UB medical education, research and clinical care more effectively with regional hospitals and research partners.

A stronger UB means a better quality of life for all residents of Buffalo Niagara. The strength of UB’s research, academic excellence and  commitment to community service make UB an economic engine for Western New York and New York State.

UB's engagement in the community includes more than 100 programs and activities that involve students, staff and faculty members from nearly every area of the university. UB's broad outreach efforts range from providing free dental care to hundreds of children each year, to helping to beautify neighborhoods by cleaning up local gardens, parks and other community gathering spots and helping low-income families, the elderly and others obtain safe and affordable housing. The university also opens up its campuses to members of the community through seasonal farmers markets, free concert and entertainment programs, and a computer and electronics recycling program that to date has kept more than 79 tons of hazardous materials out of area landfills.

Impact of UB Research

UB research and development serves as a source of economic growth by pumping dollars into the economy and supporting jobs on and off campus.

  • UB averages about $385 million annually in research expenditures with nearly half being sponsored funding.
  • Direct and indirect research expenditures result in overall economic impact on Buffalo Niagara of nearly $732 million annually, supporting about 4,370 jobs.
  • University incubators have helped launch more than 80 companies, commercializing and transferring technology to the private sector. Its research resources, expertise and entrepreneurial services have assisted hundreds more businesses growing throughout the region and the state.
  • UB’s Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology (UB CAT) had a $143.8 million economic impact in 2015. The process continues with 16 life sciences companies receiving more than $500,000 in the 2016 funding cycle.

The university’s research operations make tangible and quantifiable economic contributions. Along with creating jobs for research staff and support personnel, UB scientists are contributing to new product development and technology commercialization. Knowledge and technology transfers have helped to start commercial ventures that promote entrepreneurship, economic development, and job creation.

Other Ways in Which UB Benefits the State and Region

UB’s total impact on the state of New York goes beyond its annual operational expenditures and the qualitative value and impact of the university goes far beyond its annual multi-billion dollar economic impact. Through its academic programs, UB is helping to grow New York State by educating the highly skilled workforce that will be needed to compete in a global economy, providing the next generation of innovators with a firm foundation upon which to grow their own ideas and helping to build the next generation of scholars. Moreover, UB provides the larger community with access to faculty experts, adds richness and diversity to the region’s cultural offerings, imports culture from outside of the country with international students, has provided the research expertise, and is growing its new campus to become recognized throughout the world as a center of cutting-edge biomedical research collaborations with multiple hospitals to create a biomedical research cluster.  On a daily basis, the lives of those in the surrounding communities are significantly enhanced by UB's presence in a multitude of ways.

UB Educates the Future Workforce of both Buffalo and New York State

UB educates the workforce that New York needs to successfully compete in the 21st Century global economy. Nearly 8,000 students graduate every year from UB and are essential to meeting the state’s human capital and workforce needs.

UB Alumni Play a Vital Role in the New York Economy

By educating students, UB adds to the talent pool of human capital in New York. A UB degree increases a graduate’s value, productivity, and earning potential in the job market. Based on data on median annual earnings for university graduates in 2008 from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, a bachelor’s degree earned at a university increases a graduate's salary by an average of $20,748 a year compared with a high school graduate’s salary (from $32,552 to $53,300), while a graduate degree earned at a university increases a graduate's salary, when compared to a bachelor's degree, by an average of $15,756 a year (from $53,300 to $69,056). Considering the average individual’s work life is roughly 40 years, the benefit of earning a college degree provides about $829,920 more in total lifetime wages over an individual whose education stopped after earning a high school diploma.

UB Global Impacts

Through the work of UB students, faculty, and alumni, the university is making a positive difference in the local community, as well as throughout the world. Through the work done by UB students and faculty on a range of projects addressing global challenges, UB is able to make a significant difference globally. From training earthquake engineers in Haiti to documenting vanishing languages in Cameroon, the research and outreach done at UB changes lives around the world, in addition to changing the lives of the students and faculty.

Through globally-focused academic programs and a multicultural learning environment, UB seeks to prepare students for life and work in an interconnected, global society. UB offers opportunities to increase global awareness through its Global Perspectives Academy, Area Studies and Language Programs, and study abroad programs.

Students and faculty at UB are encouraged to have a global perspective and the university facilitates opportunities for students and faculty to apply their knowledge to a range of projects addressing global challenges