On May 28, New York state and the University at Buffalo announced the official launch of the Innovation Hub, designed to help connect ideas to action and move research from the lab to the marketplace, at an event held on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. 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, Hauptman-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,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “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,” said Howard Zemsky, Empire State Development president, CEO and commissioner.
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-plus faculty who are focused on making new discoveries and advances in medical device technology, diagnostics, healthcare 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 Satish K. Tripathi, UB president. “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 these 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 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.
To learn more about the Innovation Hub, click here.