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UB offers grants to businesses

Published August 15, 2013

Entrepreneurs and small- to mid-sized businesses in Western New York seeking to enhance their competitive edge can receive up to $25,000 in matching funds for technical assistance from UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The grants, from the Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence (SPIR) program, help subsidize the cost of bringing innovations to the next level, upgrading or introducing new technologies, addressing the challenges of product development and testing, and more.

SPIR is funded by SUNY and administered by UB TCIE and counterparts at Binghamton and Stony Brook universities. It allows companies with 500 employees or fewer to tap into SUNY's brainpower, which includes seven UB engineering departments.

Funds are available for research and development projects, re-engineering business processes and enhancing business systems, accessing shared instrumentation facilities and employing graduate student interns. Capital expenses are not covered.

“With a new academic year around the corner, and UB faculty and graduate students ready to assist industry, now is a great time to explore how the cost-effective engineering expertise at UB can help advance your company,” said Timothy Leyh, UB TCIE executive director. “Perhaps you don’t have the time or internal resources to take on a special project, or you have met a brick wall in deriving an appropriate solution.”

In the 2012-13 fiscal year, companies that received SPIR funding reported creating 79 jobs, retaining 1,682 jobs and increasing revenues by more than $18 million. Examples of some projects undertaken at companies include:

  • Development of an ergonomics program to reduce work-related, overexertion injuries.
  • Improvement and efficiency-focused efforts in a number of areas, including product launch, supply chain, and shop floor equipment and processes.
  • Validation of a proposed system’s schematic design and simulation, plus construction of a prototype.
  • Conversion of a lab prototype into a working commercial unit.
  • Implementation of work methods and processes to better address the needs of developmentally disabled employees.

To be considered for SPIR, contact Gary Simon, TCIE business development director, by Sept. 6 at 716-645-8837 or