Ryan calls for more state funding for UB programs

Published February 27, 2018

State Assemblyman Sean Ryan on Monday called for a minimum of $3.5 million to be included in this year’s state budget to fund UB’s technology-based economic development programs, which helped industry partners create 372 new jobs in Buffalo in fiscal 2016-17.

During a visit to UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, Ryan noted the programs, which partner faculty experts and technological assets with industry to drive economic growth, had previously received $3.5 million in state funding. The additional funding would continue the programs’ momentum and create more jobs in the area, he said.

The programs are the Center for Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, the Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics, the Center for Advanced Technology in Big Date and Health Sciences (UB CAT), the Western New York Incubator Network (WIN) and the Center for Computational Research (CCR).

“When we use the phrase, ‘The New Buffalo,’ this is what we’re talking about,” Ryan said. “With these programs, we are able to take resources and capabilities that UB has and partner them with private-sector companies to help them grow, create jobs and pioneer new technologies. This is a minimal investment ... with maximum impact, and these are the types of jobs that will transform our economy for the future.

“We know that these programs work, and it is a worthwhile investment from the state,” he said. “That is why I am pushing for a continued investment is this year’s state budget.”

In fiscal year 2016-17, UB’s technology-based economic development programs created 372 new jobs, retained 66 jobs and helped companies achieve $67.7 million in total non-job impacts — increased revenue, grants obtained, investment procured and cost savings realized.

Industry partners also reported investing $5 million in their businesses, and acquiring more than $50 million in grants and private investment to expand their enterprises.