ESD Awards Center for Advanced Technology Designation to University at Buffalo

Ten Year Designation Includes Nearly $10 Million in New York State Funding

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced its Division of Science, Technology & Innovation (NYSTAR) has awarded a Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) designation to the University at Buffalo. The University at Buffalo Center for Advanced Technology in Big Data & Health Sciences (UB CAT) will focus on big data and medicine, with an emphasis on drug development, medical devices and diagnostics.

ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “We are proud to support the groundbreaking research and development at the University of Buffalo through a new Center for Advanced Technology designation. Continued investments in these emerging industries will further promote New York State as a business-friendly leader in collaborative innovation, utilizing the staff, students and equipment at our world-class universities.”

The UB CAT, part of the university’s Business & Entrepreneur Partnership Office, supports technology commercialization and industry engagement with UB’s faculty and students, and enables access to specialized equipment. Programs include matching funding for start-ups and mid-to-late stage development of drugs, biologics, diagnostics, devices, services and other related products with commercial potential.

Leveraging the university’s expertise in data, life sciences, informatics and computer modeling, UB CAT will work with industry partners to support their innovation pipeline and growth. The creation of cost-effective technologies to generate, store and analyze massive amounts of data has led to the connection of big data and medicine. This rapidly evolving trend supports the many opportunities for innovation and development in health sciences.

Norma J. Nowak, PhD, principal investigator and Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences Executive Director, said, “UB has a long-standing relationship with this division of Empire State Development. This designation is a tribute to the UB team, their expertise and the work they do to drive technology-based economic development in our region.”

ESD will support UB CAT with nearly $10 million in funding over the course of the ten-year designation, with additional support provided by the university and private industry. Private sector partners also contributed to the proposal by outlining joint projects that include nearly $1.5 million in matching contributions for the first year. UB had a prior CAT designation from 2007 to June 2017, which funded 173 applied research projects between 72 New York State life sciences companies and 68 UB faculty members.

NYSTAR funds 15 Centers for Advanced Technology across the state to encourage collaboration between private industry and universities in the development and application of new technologies. The CAT program, established in 1983, facilitates a continuing program of applied research, development and technology transfer in multiple technological areas, in collaboration with and through the support of private industry. CATs play a critical role in spurring technology-based applied research and economic development in the state; promoting national and international research collaboration and innovation; and leveraging New York's research expertise and funding with investments from the federal government, foundations, businesses, venture capital firms and other entities. Over the past five years, Centers for Advanced Technology helped create or retain more than 3,800 jobs and generated about $2.6 billion in economic impact.

Senator Tim Kennedy said, "The University at Buffalo continues to empower students and staff to reach their highest potentials, and this designation underscores the tremendous work being done every day. With this recognition, New York State is once again investing in a partnership that has proven itself worthy time and time again, and emphasized the importance of collaboration and innovation."

Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes said, “I would like to congratulate UB’s Center for Advanced Technology on their technology designation award, and would like to thank Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development for recognizing the important role that UB CAT plays in the local and regional economy. This $10 million will allow UB CAT to continue to innovate, collaborate and provide world class services to its clientele.”

Assemblyman Sean Ryan said, "This investment from New York State could lead to big breakthroughs and to the development of potentially life-saving medications and medical treatments. By focusing our attention and resources toward the UB CAT today, we are laying the groundwork for good-paying jobs and we are helping to grow Buffalo's reputation as a leader in medical technology. This is a great example of how state investment is helping to create the New Buffalo."

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said, “Designating the University at Buffalo as a Center for Advanced Technology makes great sense and positions UB to take advantage of the growing bioinformatics and healthcare sectors of our economy. This designation and the funding it brings will facilitate better relationships between newly-emerging technologies and the marketplace and will strengthen both UB and our local economy in the process. Thanks to Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development we are leveraging our unique higher-education assets while building a stronger economic portfolio.”

Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown said, “As I continue to build a City of Opportunity in Buffalo with a focus on economic development and job growth, I thank Empire State Development for this significant designation to the University at Buffalo. I look forward to the new and exciting developments that we can anticipate from the University at Buffalo Center for Advanced Technology in Big Data and Health Sciences.”

About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency ( The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NEW YORK,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit  and


Adam Ostrowski | [email protected] | (518) 292-5148

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