Research News

UB launches Innovation Hub

Howard Zemsky speaks from a podium during the Innovation Hub launch announcement.

Howard Zemsky, president, CEO and commissioner of Empire State Development, speaks to those attending the official launch of the Innovation Hub. Photo: Douglas Levere


Published May 29, 2019

“The Innovation Hub will support emerging partnerships and foster collaboration with the brightest minds at UB and throughout the entrepreneurial community to ensure even greater success for our region. ”
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul

New York State and UB announced yesterday the official launch of the Innovation Hub, designed to help connect ideas to action and move research from the lab to the marketplace.

The Innovation Hub is funded through a $32 million Buffalo Billion II grant commitment from New York State and supports innovation at UB and its leading research partners, including Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Jacobs Institute, Hauptmann-Woodward Medical Research Institute and Kaleida Health.

“From our historic grain elevators to the invention of electric cars and air conditioning, Buffalo is well known as a robust center of innovation,” Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said at an event held on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to announce the new initiative. “The new University at Buffalo Innovation Hub will build upon this legacy as part of our continuing efforts to grow the tech economy and create good-paying jobs in Buffalo and across Western New York. The Innovation Hub will support emerging partnerships and foster collaboration with the brightest minds at UB and throughout the entrepreneurial community to ensure even greater success for our region.”

“By leveraging the diverse portfolio of ideas, research, technologies and innovations from UB and its partners, and coupling them with funding, incubation and support services, we have the necessary pieces to create a globally recognized hub for startup business formation and commercialization, ” added Howard Zemsky, president, CEO and commissioner of Empire State Development.

The Innovation Hub will make it make it easier and more efficient for business and technology leaders to collaborate with student entrepreneurs and faculty researchers. UB and its partners collectively bring more than $412 million in annual research outflows, 30,000 students and more than 3,000 faculty who are focused on making new discoveries and advances in medical device technology, diagnostics, health care delivery, software applications, materials, imaging, sustainability and other diverse innovative developments.

“The Innovation Hub is a natural extension of our university’s work to showcase and expand the type of collaboration that is constantly on display between our faculty experts, students, research partners and the surrounding startup community,” said President Satish K. Tripathi. “UB is committed to fostering an environment where entrepreneurship can grow and flourish in and across our region, and the Innovation Hub concept is a critical component in that effort.”

Several updates on the advancement of the Innovation Hub were shared with attendees and affiliates at the event, with developments coming in three key areas:

  • The planning, design and renovation of UB's New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences (CBLS) into incubation and entrepreneur support space is underway and expected to open in early 2020. The space, which will be a designated START-UP NY-eligible location, will be made available to companies affiliated with UB and partner organizations. The university will also utilize various portions of the facility for entrepreneur support programs, events, education and related services.
  • Initial investments through the Innovation Hub’s $13.5 million fund have commenced with a focus on fueling proof-of-concept opportunities and pre-seed/seed growth. As a result, seven-proof-of-concept accelerator fund awardees have been selected, and the fund is expected to ramp up activity later this year, with additional funding announcements expected soon.
  • Outreach engagement and support programming to best serve and guide founders and startups through the various phases of development is underway. This outreach, curriculum and programming is being introduced and implemented.

“The Innovation Hub will bridge the gap between innovations and the marketplace, connecting students, faculty and entrepreneurs to the funding, facilities and talent that are needed to bring an idea to life,” said Christina Orsi, UB associate vice president for economic development.

In the coming weeks, additional announcements are expected related to the Innovation Hub, including an investment fund update, incubator space preview and various profiles on existing startups, researchers and collaborators that have already been successfully utilizing the collective resources of the hub.

More information about the Innovation Hub can be found on its website.