Global Research and Engagement Programming


Global Research to Overcome Barriers and Share Ideas

UBRI is one of the “go to” centers for transdisciplinary global research and engagement within the State University of New York (SUNY) system. UBRI experts provide regional and national leadership in topical areas of strategic importance to the Canada-US relationship, ranging from trade, border policy and binational regional economies to Great Lakes transboundary water governance, wind energy policy and the Arctic. This work currently is recognized and respected by Canadian and US leadership across sectors at the regional, state, provincial and national levels as one of the most relevant and successful of its kind.

And we are on the move. Since 2013, we have been expanding our reach and relevance to other parts of the world. UBRI experts are recognized for their global visioning and engagement, having been selected to participate in the German Fulbright Program and tapped to create a strategy for SUNY (64 campuses) to internationalize research and economic development collaborations in areas such as materials and advanced manufacturing, the environment and health. We also are working with faculty to help solve governance challenges in other regions of the world, including transboundary water governance in the Middle East and the African Great Lakes region.


Leading Conversations and Partnering in Strategies

UBRI provides thought-leadership on issues impacting the binational Buffalo Niagara region and beyond. We work with scholars, policymakers, NGOs and private sector interests regionally, across Canada and the United States and globally to generate ideas to help solve some of the most pressing challenges facing society. Our global research program is about overcoming barriers to collaboration, publishing policy-relevant scholarship on global, transnational and binational challenges and solutions, and serving as a catalyst for change.

But we are more than research. We believe that a transdisciplinary, collaborative approach to problem-solving requires boots on the ground. We lead, co-create and participate in transboundary policy networks. We vision and execute strategies with partners. We convene stakeholders from across sectors and scales to build consensus and facilitate strategic decision-making on complex issues such as trade and water governance. And we engage with leadership from the public sector, private sector, non-profit and NGO worlds to shape agendas for improving the state of the world.

View the Work
Trade, Border Policy and Binational Regional Economies
Transboundary Environment and Energy

Trade, Border Policy and Binational Regional Economies

The Regional Institute approaches cross-border flows with an interdisciplinary view, using law, policy, governance and planning perspectives to gain insight into the complex dynamics shaping international trade, border policy and binational regional economies. With recognition as a leader in this area at both the regional and national scale, UBRI gathers data, generates knowledge, builds relationships, convenes stakeholders, helps forge consensus and provides policy guidance and strategic recommendations for navigating the globalized world of the twenty-first century.

Related Work

Borders in Globalization

Consensus Building and Facilitation to Build an International Trade Gateway in Buffalo Niagara

All Politics (or International Law) is Local

Go With the Flow: Niagara Falls Bridge Commission Crossings 2010

Border Barometer

Border Brief – October 2008

Region’s Edge



Transboundary Environment and Energy

Among the most challenging yet promising policy areas for forging collaborative strategies are the realms of environment and energy. Cross-boundary environmental collaboration makes sense, as residents living in multijurisdictional regions breathe the same air, drink the same water and swim in the same lakes and rivers as their counterparts, as well as share responsibility for safe, healthy and sustainable shared landscapes. Although people find it increasingly necessary – indeed desirable – to reach across borders to solve important environmental problems, many remain challenged in figuring out ways to successfully move ahead. UBRI builds capacity, identifies challenges, helps forge consensus and strategic action, and suggests areas of governance and policy reform and strategic research frameworks, with emphasis on the Great Lakes.

Great Lakes Governance

Environmental Collaborations Across International Boundaries


The Government of Canada, Canadian Embassy, US Embassy-Ottawa, the US Consulate – Toronto, US Customs and Border Protection, US Environmental Protection Agency, the Canadian Embassy, Canadian Border Services Agency, Canadian Ministry of the Environment, Canadian Consulates (New York City, Detroit, Boston, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta), Gouvernement de Quebec , New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Canada-US Transportation Border Working Group, German Fulbright Kommission, the Alliance for the Great Lakes; The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, The Nature Conservancy, Border Policy Research Institute, Cross-Border Institute (Windsor), the Canada-US Law Institute, the Canadian American Business Council, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, Peace Bridge Authority, Buffalo Niagara Partnership Can-Am Council, SUNY Research Foundation, SUNY Networks of Excellence Program and UB ReNEW.

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