Release Date: April 24, 2002
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Gov. George E. Pataki and the chief executives of two major corporations will be honored on May 9 by UB and its School of Engineering and Applied Sciences for their roles in establishing the Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics.
Igniting Ideas Awards, presented to business and civic leaders who have demonstrated outstanding support to UB and the economic development of Western New York, will be presented at a luncheon at noon on May 9 at Industry University Day 2002 in the atrium of the Center for the Arts on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.
"Vital Partners Igniting Ideas" will be the theme of the event, which will begin with a reception at 11 a.m.
Pataki, who will be keynote speaker, will receive an Igniting Ideas Award for his leadership in establishing the center, which he proposed early last year and which he has envisioned as creating thousands of high-tech jobs and transforming Western New York into a 21st-century economy. A collaborative effort involving New York State, industry partners and academic institutions, the center to date has attracted $50 million in state funding and more than $150 million in private-sector funding.
Michael D. Capellas, president of HP, and David H. Langstaff, president and chief executive officer of Veridian Corp., both of whom will speak at the event, will receive "Igniting Ideas" awards for their companies' contributions in establishing the center.
"We are tremendously pleased and proud to present this year's Igniting Ideas Awards to Gov. George Pataki, David H. Langstaff of Veridian and Michael D. Capellas of HP," said President William R. Greiner. "Each of these outstanding leaders truly exemplifies the spirit of the award, which is grounded in our belief that great things happen through collaboration -- great things happen when the university, government and local and international business come together for the good of the region and state."
Greiner noted that "it was Gov. Pataki who first ignited the idea of the Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics -- and we at UB ran with that idea, an idea that came to fruition through the generous and visionary support of Veridian and HP, as well as our other corporate partners and business supporters.
"As the governor has remarked," he added, "the Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics has the potential to dramatically redefine the economic landscape of our region and state. It's just one example of how an idea, once ignited, nurtured and given full developmental support, has the power to transform and revitalize the economy.
"We at UB, along with our research partners, the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, are grateful to Gov. Pataki, Mr. Langstaff and Mr. Capellas for their outstanding support of the center, and we look forward to an exciting new future ahead."
Provost Elizabeth D. Capaldi noted that "the governor's vision and commitment have allowed us to obtain partnerships with the major corporations we are honoring."
"Buffalo is currently a leader in the developing field of bioinformatics," she added, "and with our corporate and research partners we intend on keeping that lead and producing a 21st-century economy in Buffalo based on this superb science."
HP and Veridian are providing a total of more than $95 million in intellectual property and funding toward the Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics. HP, which recently merged with Compaq, is a leading global provider of products, technologies, solutions and services to consumers and businesses in more than 160 countries. Veridian, a leading provider of information-based systems, integrated solutions and services to the U.S. government, specializes in mission-critical national security programs, primarily for the Department of Defense and the intelligence community.
As part of its partnership with UB, HP will be providing the university's Center for Computational Research (CCR) with an HP AlphaServer supercomputer that will more than double the center's current computing capacity and perform a trillion operations per second. In addition to the substantial increase in computational computing power, HP will deliver a large Storage Area Network system that will increase CCR's data storage capabilities by more than a factor of 10.
Mark H. Karwan, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, noted the long-standing relationship with Veridian (formerly Calspan) through its Calspan-UB Research Center (CUBRC).
"The center has grown dramatically in the past few years, expanding its work in hypersonics and diversifying its UB/Veridian joint research efforts in information technology, biotechnology/biosciences, transportation and the environment," he said.
University researchers currently are working with Veridian on transportation studies, including modeling of vehicle dynamics and crash simulation.
Other UB researchers are affiliated with CUBRC's Center for Transportation Injury Research, a federally funded initiative to develop and evaluate systems and technologies designed to improve emergency-response systems in order to reduce injuries and loss of life resulting from vehicle-related crashes.
Veridian is contributing extensive software that they own toward the imaging and bioinformatics initiative of the center. UB also is working very closely with Veridian's science and engineering staff to develop new technologies that are dependent on bioinformatics.
Veridian also is working as a subcontractor to CCR on a multimillion-dollar project aimed at trying to replace very expensive high-end visualization systems with much cheaper, commodity-level components. Applications for this technology include everything from the medical profession to defense-related projects.
Veridian, through its Buffalo operation, recently donated an extensive collection of engineering research materials and technical reports to the UB Libraries, making the collection available to the public for the first time. Portions of the donated material date back to the 1940s when the Curtiss-Wright Airplane Division laboratory was converted into a public research institute, the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory, which in 1972 became Calspan Corp. In 1978, it became Arvin/Calspan Advanced Technology Center, which became Veridian when Calspan and Veda merged in 1997.