Driving the region forward.

Our region must keep planning for the future in order to thrive. If we don’t innovate, we will, once again, fall behind. Innovation drives competitive advantage. It creates the jobs of the future, sparking entrepreneurship and the birth and growth of businesses. Innovation can also create synergies between the classroom and lab, research and commercialization leading to economic stability and growth. Strengthening the regional innovation landscape encourages entrepreneurs and draws investors, resulting in stronger economies. Innovation requires an environment that is nimble, ripe with opportunities for partnership and supportive of entrepreneurial life cycles.

Building a solid ecosystem.

Through years of experience, UBRI has built our capacity to perform insightful research, build local partnerships, and problem-solve to cultivate and grow regional entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems. This was true throughout UBRI’s history – from our involvement with early planning and design for the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to research on the value and economic impacts of university-industry partnerships. More recently, through our work on the Buffalo Billion and Upstate Revitalization Initiative, UBRI performed targeted research on innovation indicators to determine competitive advantages, and has taken careful consideration of stakeholder input and best practices to assist in implementing critical initiatives that fill in the gaps in our innovation ecosystem.

Cultivating vital resources.

Our region has a broad base of the human capital capacity needed for research and innovation. It makes sense to build on that capacity. The region’s high-performing colleges and universities fuel STEM-intensive industries which invest proportionally more in research & development and increase the value of the goods and services they contribute to the economy. We are working on strategies with regional leaders and partners to generate more startup enterprises by facilitating applied research & development and support systems for aspiring entrepreneurs and strengthening networks for collaboration for early-stage firm growth. These strategies are encouraging an increase in venture funding through structures and incentives that make it easier for funders to identify, assess and invest in market-viable businesses. The region is collaborating on initiatives that foster minority- and women- owned business entrepreneurship through training and tailored support to ensure opportunities extend to all communities and segments of the population.

Innovation will keep the region moving forward. Making the proper investments in the entrepreneurial ecosystem—startups, small businesses, nonprofits, and support networks—will attract entrepreneurs, grow STEM jobs, attract tech workers, and ensure a healthy, diverse business climate that is vital to create a resilient economy.