BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo has been awarded a
$349,565 grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA)
to foster innovation, job creation and private capital investment
in 10 Western New York counties. The announcement comes as Senator
Charles E. Schumer and Congressman Brian Higgins continue to press
federal officials to invest in western New York's innovation
The federal funds will create the Innovation Hub (iHub), a
two-year program that advances innovations emerging from State
University of New York campuses at UB, Fredonia, Geneseo, Buffalo
State, Alfred University and Brockport. Objectives are to
accelerate the commercialization pipeline, connect entrepreneurs to
university and community resources, and cultivate a highly skilled
talent pool through education in the Western New York counties of
Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston,
Monroe, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming.
"This federal investment will help advance new and innovative
technologies all across western New York, and I am proud to have
worked with UB on this game-changing project," said Senator
Schumer. "The iHub program will be an excellent complement to
Launch NY and the other business incubation activities that are
currently fostering growth throughout our state. By capitalizing on
our region's most valuable assets, like the expertise at UB, we can
develop new technologies and transform those ideas into
job-creation engines. I will continue to work with all of the
various innovation assets, like iHub and Launch NY, to help turn
western New York into a hotbed of emerging technologies and
The iHub complements Launch NY, a 501c3 entity formed after the
EDA awarded a grant to the Erie County Industrial Development
Agency for JumpStart New York. Since September 2010, the project
has increased venture and seed funding for entrepreneurship in
Western and Central New York.
"Western New York has long been a standout in entrepreneurship
and innovation," said Congressman Higgins. "This grant to the
University at Buffalo will help to enhance that reputation, in
addition to bringing valuable jobs to our region. The Innovation
Hub will provide small business owners with just the resources they
need to thrive and aid economic growth in Western New York and
across the state."
Marnie LaVigne, UB associate vice president for economic
development, said, "With this grant, the iHub will dovetail with
the work of Launch NY and inject the area with new energy,
expertise and relationships. It will lay the foundation for a more
cohesive ecosystem that advances the region's emerging cluster
industries, including advanced manufacturing, life sciences and
alternative energy technology."
The iHub will create forums in three regions: Buffalo-Niagara,
Genesee/Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier for entrepreneurs,
businesses and economic developers to collaborate and brainstorm,
thereby boosting Western New York's innovation infrastructure.
Committees, to be composed of multi-disciplinary private and public
sector members, will synergize activities, maximize assets and
identify innovation infrastructure gaps.
Other activities of the grant will include: assisting
entrepreneurs with new business formation and commercialization;
widening the depth and reach of the life sciences program iSciWNY;
developing leadership of early-stage technology companies;
providing education in the new product development process; and
addressing technical challenges of small and mid-size
Initiatives and activities of the iHub will be led by the
following UB entities: UB TCIE; Office of Science, Technology
Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR); New York State Center of
Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences; School of
Management; and the New York State Center for Engineering Design
and Industrial Innovation (NYSCEDII).
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive
public university, a flagship institution in the State University
of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus.
UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests
through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional
degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a
member of the Association of American Universities.