BUFFALO – The University at Buffalo will receive $1
million from New York State to make its downtown Buffalo
supercomputing center more accessible to businesses in Western New
York and beyond.
The award, announced Wednesday through Gov. Andrew M.
Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative,
will fund the purchase of computer servers, software and other
components for the Center for Computational Research (CCR).
UB will make those resources available to industry, such as
Sentient Science, IBC Digital, CUBRC, Empire Visual Effects and
other companies looking to innovate through high-performance
computing and big-data analytics.
Specifically, the funding will:
- Provide industry in Western New York and New York State with
access to dedicated advanced computing resources to foster
innovation and economic development.
- Provide the same partners with the expertise necessary to
leverage high-performance computing and big-data analytic resources
to improve productivity and assist in new product development.
- Support the activities of UB’s New York State Center of
Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, the New York State
Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics, and other industries
that develop around these organizations.
- Support the activities of the New York State High Performance
Computing Consortium, a program of Empire State Development’s
Cuomo, who created the Regional Economic Development Council
initiative in 2011, said the program has redesigned the
state’s economic development efforts from a top-down model to
a community-based, performance-driven approach.
“In the last three years, we have put New York’s
fiscal house in order by controlling spending and cutting taxes,
and the global business community has taken notice. We are
transforming New York State into a top destination for companies
from around the world to locate, invest and grow with initiatives
like START-UP NY to provide tax-free areas and support to
businesses,” he said.
Alexander N. Cartwright, UB vice president for research and
economic development, said the funding will allow UB to acquire
resources that will greatly improve the center’s ability to
assist local and state businesses innovate and develop new
“With this award, CCR will provide our regional and New
York State industrial partners with on-demand, immediate access to
high-performance computing and data-analytics resources (hardware,
software and consulting services) that will improve productivity,
assist in new product development, foster innovation and economic
development,” he said. “We’d like to thank Gov.
Cuomo for leadership in recognizing how these resources will give
our industrial partners the competitive advantage they need in the
Home of the region’s largest computing system — and
one the largest in the state — the CCR is located in
UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics
and Life Sciences, 701 Ellicott St., within the Buffalo Niagara
Medical Campus. It already is helping attract business, such as
software and sensor company Sentient Science, to Western New
“Not every company can support the advanced computing
infrastructure or expert personnel that’s required in some
industries for innovative product development,” said Thomas
Furlani, CCR director. “As a result, many are at a
competitive disadvantage; it takes them longer and costs more to
bring new products to the marketplace.
“In addition to supporting faculty-led research at UB, one
of CCR’s main goals is to promote economic development,
especially in Western New York,” Furlani said. “These
resources will enable us to help business foster innovation, enable
rational design and reduce the time it takes to develop products,
all of which are necessary to be competitive in today’s
The center’s importance to economic development and basic
research will only grow, Furlani said, as the medical campus
expands and the region continues to pivot more toward a high-tech,
advanced manufacturing-based economy. It also will play a vital
role in the Center for Excellence in Materials Informatics, which,
among other things, seeks to develop and commercialize new
materials for manufacturing and industry.
The funding is among more than $60 million that Cuomo awarded to
Western New York-based endeavors on Wednesday. UB President Satish
K. Tripathi and local businessman Howard A. Zemsky are co-chairs of
the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council. Nearly
$716 million was awarded statewide Wednesday.