UB’s Office of Economic Development receives inaugural "Excellence in Tech-Based Economic Development" award

The honor from the New York State Economic Development Council recognizes UB’s success in recruiting companies to START-UP NY

Release Date: October 27, 2016

“START-UP NY companies have reported hiring well over 100 UB graduates, and they provide a pipeline of opportunities for UB students.”
Christina Orsi, associate vice president for economic development
University at Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The University at Buffalo's Office of Economic Development was selected to receive the first "Excellence in Tech-Based Economic Development" award presented by the New York State Economic Development Council (NYSEDC).

The award was presented to Karen Utz, director of program administration for UB’s Office of Economic Development, at NYSEDC's 2016 Annual Tech-Based Economic Development Conference in Corning, New York on Oct. 19.

The award recognizes UB's success in attracting businesses to its campus through the START-UP NY program. Since the inception of the program, 77 companies have been approved through UB sponsorship. These companies have projected investments totaling $50 million and creating over 1,600 jobs in the next five years.

Several nominations were evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Project impact to the community (i.e., impact on the community’s ability to attract federal or private research and development — R&D — funding and/or private investment capital in order to achieve local commercial outcomes from such R&D funding streams that enter the community)
  • Project tangible and intangible results (i.e., did the project result in developing intellectual property into viable competitive businesses with potential to scale? Were there resultant improvements to the overall infrastructure for R&D commercialization in the community?) 
  • Project replicability and transferability (i.e., to what extent could a community of similar size and R&D/science and technology profile easily apply the same techniques to improve its capacity to develop and commercialize advanced discoveries in science, engineering or medicine?) 
  • Project innovation and productivity (i.e., was the project cost-effective? Did it involve a public-private partnership? Does it align with regional economic development strategies, create efficiencies, or address environmental sustainability issues?)
  • Reputational gain (i.e., to what extent did the project affect external perceptions of the community, positively influencing the community’s attractiveness to corporations, entrepreneurs and investors considering allocation of investment or physical capital?)

Brian McMahon, executive director of NYSEDC, said, "The University at Buffalo has shown how successful the START-UP NY program can be in facilitating university and business engagement. In the coming months, NYSEDC will work with the University at Buffalo to share its expertise with other colleges and universities in an effort to generate similar results in other regions of the state."

“UB has been a leader within SUNY in implementing the governor’s vision for START-UP NY,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “The relationships that the university has cultivated with companies in the program are benefiting the Western New York economy and providing tremendous new opportunities for students, graduates and faculty researchers.”

START-UP NY stands for SUNY Tax-free Areas to Revitalize and Transform Upstate New York. The program aims to spur economic development by enabling universities to identify areas where new and expanding businesses can operate for 10 years without paying New York State business, corporate, income, sales or property taxes, or franchise fees.

“Karen Utz has provided exceptional leadership for START-UP NY at UB,” said Christina Orsi, associate vice president for economic development at UB. “Through this program, UB is helping the governor achieve his vision of retaining more of our talented students in the region.” 

“START-UP NY companies have reported hiring well over 100 UB graduates, and they provide a pipeline of opportunities for UB students, from internships to full-time employment in software, engineering, marketing and more,” Orsi continued. “UB, as a research university, has also partnered with START-UP NY companies in licensing UB technology and in conducting joint research and development projects, enabling the companies to benefit from the cutting-edge research at UB.”

The New York State Economic Development Council has represented local and regional economic development professionals, as well as colleges and universities and private sector enterprises for more than 40 years. Its mission is to support members through advocacy, professional development, project/lead generation, collaboration and creating opportunities to retain and attract investment and jobs to our communities.

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