University at Buffalo's Buffalo Institute for Genomics and Data Analytics surpasses job creation commitments, accelerating life sciences growth in Western New York
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Buffalo Institute for Genomics and Data Analytics is helping to grow Buffalo Niagara as a bioinformatics and life sciences hub by creating 530 jobs at high-tech companies, far surpassing its commitment to create 250 jobs by February 2022. BIG was launched in 2014 with a $47.5 million Buffalo Billion grant award to the University at Buffalo to support the application of advanced analytics, provide access to genomic expertise, and health data and informatics to improve health care outcomes in collaboration with local companies. Through BIG, its partners gain access to biomedical, genomics and big data expertise and equipment to advance life science products and improve health outcomes.
"Despite the extreme challenges of the pandemic, Buffalo Institute for Genomics and Data Analytics is making significant contributions to change the economic landscape of Western New York," Cuomo said. "Strategic investments like this are creating new opportunities and jobs, moving our economy forward and positioning Buffalo as a leader in the growing life sciences industry."
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said, "As a Buffalo native who witnessed the decline in industry and jobs in the region, I know the important economic impact that over 500 new jobs will have on Western New York's comeback. New York state's investment in Buffalo Institute for Genomics and Data Analytics is bringing high-tech, good, sustainable jobs to Western New York, and turning Buffalo into a life sciences hub that will continue to provide much-needed COVID testing and resources."
BIG helps big data and life sciences companies reach growth milestones at an accelerated rate by connecting them to biomedical, genomic and big data expertise that will help advance new molecular diagnostic tests, companion diagnostics, therapeutic agents and precision medicine techniques to tailor treatment options and improve health outcomes. These companies are also eligible to receive support and services, including specialized equipment and laboratories, sophisticated software, student interns and a pipeline into recent graduates.
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "Under Gov. Cuomo's leadership, New York state is investing in cutting-edge manufacturing and life science industry advancements, including those helping us to gain ground in the battle against COVID-19. BIG is providing essential resources to the developers of diagnostic tests aimed at improving patient care – with promising prospects for company partnerships that will add new jobs and quickly bring even more life-saving innovations to market."
SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said, "This is yet another powerful example in how investing in our SUNY campuses and research universities repeatedly pays off with real and meaningful results that contribute to job creation and the rebuilding of local economies. Our campuses continue to be part of our communities and we are immensely proud and applaud the tireless commitment of the University of Buffalo and President Tripathi to continue this proven return on investment."
Tripathi said, "As a premier public research university, the University at Buffalo significantly contributes to our regional and state economy in many ways, and the success of BIG is another example of UB's impact on the communities we serve. As a national leader in field of big data genomics, UB's faculty expertise and research strengths in the life sciences and medical information technology, as well as our considerable capabilities in supercomputing, have strongly positioned BIG to achieve the milestones we are celebrating today. We are proud of the success of BIG to this point and look forward to its continued growth in the future."
University at Buffalo Associate Vice President for Economic Development Christina Orsi said, "It is through academic and private sector partnerships leveraging each other's strengths that we drive job growth, innovation and impact on society. Our partnerships have been instrumental in the advances of new medical technologies. Together, we help find solutions for complex scientific challenges, contribute to innovation, and spur economic growth and workforce development in the Buffalo Niagara Region."
KSL Biomedical CEO Kevin Lawson said, "Biotech projects are expensive and require significant investments sometimes years before they pay off, and companies like ours take on huge risks to pursue them. The resources available through BIG and partnership with the University at Buffalo are invaluable. It's a big reason we could develop the capacity to perform hundreds of thousands of tests during the pandemic. Our creation of more than 100 jobs would have been impossible without BIG."
BIG provides partners with technical knowledge, talent, state-of-the-art facilities, high-tech genomic and proteomic equipment, big data solutions and funding. BIG partners have benefited from this incentive by:
Leveraging faculty expertise.
Accessing specialized genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics equipment to support research and development of new/enhanced products and services.
Acquiring capital equipment through a forgivable loan.
Utilizing the cutting-edge infrastructure at UB's biorepository or accessing the university's supercomputer at UB's Center for Computational Research.
UB's BIG and its industry partners' collaboration are developing new medical devices, software products and services that are intended to prevent and treat infections, enable patients to quickly connect to clinical trials to get life-saving experimental treatments, provide new diagnostic tests for cancer and enhance the delivery of health care services. All of these products and services are designed to result in the ability to provide patients with better treatment options.
The following companies currently have agreements with BIG and have created more than 500 jobs. In total, these partners anticipate generating more than 600 new life science jobs by the end of 2021.
More information about Buffalo Institute for Genomics and Data Analytics can be found HERE.