Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) was awarded a $4 million Upstate Regional Blueprint Fund grant to support growing life sciences and biotechnology companies, as well as encourage entrepreneurism in Western New York.
This funding will help start-up companies build out research and development space housed in BNMC’s Innovation Center, which is part of the 120-acre world-class medical campus located in downtown Buffalo. The State’s partnership with BNMC has included an investment of more than $15 million to renovate part of the former Trico manufacturing building into the new technology “accelerator” Innovation Center, where at least 50 new high-technology positions will be created.
Since opening in January 2010, the Center has recruited 20 new tenants, including most recently IMMCO Diagnostics, Inc., which is investing $1 million to relocate and operate a key division, IMMCO Immunogenetics. This division performs tissue typing and blood testing for organ and bone marrow transplant donors and recipients, and plans to move into the Innovation Center by the end of this year.
“The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is one of the State’s highest priorities to ensure a growing and competitive environment for innovation and new technology,” said Governor David A. Paterson. “The BNMC and its Innovation Center are two of Western New York’s most coveted assets. They are economic, academic and business drivers for the region and for the entire state. Establishing a world-class biotechnology campus is essential if New York State is to become a global leader in the life sciences industry. The BNMC is leading Western New York in this charge, joining top biotech companies together with our academic institutions to make significant advancements in the fields of medicine and, engineering and technology.”
The latest investment by ESDC in the Innovation Center is a continuation of the State’s commitment to developing the BNMC as a transformation economic development center in Buffalo. ESD has assisted associated infrastructure projects on the BNMC with nearly $140 million in funding that has assisted with the development of the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences at the University at Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Hauptman-Woodwood Medical Research Institute.
“The creation of new lab space on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus will accelerate life sciences commercialization throughout the Western New York region and the State by leveraging its own medical capabilities and intellectual assets,” said ESD Chairman & CEO Dennis M. Mullen. “It is fantastic to see that the Center already has 20 tenants working in a collaborative fashion with the Campus and its existing private and academic partners to build on its positive trajectory. With continued, steadied investment, this Center is positioned to become a global powerhouse in cuttingedge life science research and new technologies not yet known to the world. I am extremely pleased the State could be a partner in this exciting new industry for Western New York.”
The BNMC is a consortium of the region’s premier health care, life sciences research, and medical education institutions, which performs its mission by promoting the clinical, research and academic excellence of its member institutions and the community at-large.
In addition to IMMCO, OncoMed Pharmaceuticals—a drug-discovery company whose research targets cancer stem cells—and Ceno Technologies—a company that develops high-technology coatings of microscopic particles used to defeat radar, infra-red and thermal detection—are currently building out space and are expected to move into the Center by the end of the year. These three companies are amongst 20 organizations the BNMC has recruited to locate operations within the Innovation Center. The additional tenants include: Advantage Home TeleHealth; Be Relevant Group; BWI/Wellness Institute; Continental 1; Delvecchio & Stadler; Green Options Buffalo; The Kane Firm CPA PC; Life Science Link; Medical Acoustics; M.I.C.E.; New World Trade; The PCA Group; Serometrix; Sitel; University at Buffalo’s Division of Allergy, Immunology & Rheumatology; Yormick & Associates; and What’s Shakin’.
“This funding is critical for private sector growth on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus,” said Matthew K. Enstice, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. “The Innovation Center provides a home for growing life sciences and biotech companies that want to be near the thriving clinical care, research and medical education institutions on the BNMC in a collaborative environment designed to foster entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation.”
“We are encouraged by the growth in our histocompatibility testing, solid organ and bone marrow transplantation services, and platelet transfusion testing. The opportunity to be an integral part of the state of the art Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is very exciting,” said Bill Maggio, President and CEO, IMMCO Diagnostics. “Construction on our new lab is progressing and we plan to relocate our immunogenetics laboratory in December.”
The Innovation Center also received funding from National Grid, the John R. Oishei Foundation and the U.S. Small Business Administration through a grant secured by Congressman Brian Higgins.
About the Innovation Center at 640 Ellicott Street
The Innovation Center at 640 Ellicott Street is a state-of-the-art, LEED-certified building with a collaborative environment designed to foster innovation and creativity among companies seeking to be a part of the thriving Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The facility is an example of adaptive reuse—once part of the Trico Products Corp. complex—and boasts a newly renovated lobby, core and shell, conference rooms and rest rooms. Solar panels were recently installed through a grant from NYSERDA to reduce the building’s energy consumption.
About the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is cultivating a world-class medical campus on 120 acres in downtown Buffalo. The BNMC is anchored by premier clinical care, research, and education institutions, including the University at Buffalo, Kaleida Health, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, Buffalo Medical Group, Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center, Olmsted Center for Sight, Upstate New York Transplant Services and the Center for Hospice and Palliative Care.
The BNMC has:
4.5 million square feet of existing research, clinical, and support space today, with more than two million square feet currently in development or soon to be underway, equaling an investment of $500 million in public and private funding.
8,500 people working on the Medical Campus today, a number that will rise to nearly 12,000 in the next few years.
More than one million patients and visitors annually.
Nine major institutions and more than 30 public and private life sciences companies are located on the BNMC.
Empire State Development is New York’s chief economic development agency and administrator of the statewide business resource portal New York First (www.NYfirst.NY.gov). ESD is committed to being recognized on a global scale as the economic development engine driving job growth, strategic investment and prosperity in New York State. ESD is intent on paving the way for New York State to become the leader of the innovation economy and one of the most business friendly, productive and competitive economic development climates in the world. ESD also oversees the marketing of “I LOVE NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Empire State Development, visit www.esd.ny.gov.