Governor Cuomo Launches First Phase of IBM Buffalo Innovation

Governor Cuomo Launches First Phase of IBM Buffalo Innovation

Friday, May 29, 2015 - 15:14
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Andrew M. Cuomo - Governor Albany, New York (May 29, 2015)

Innovation Center to Begin Serving as Hub for State-of-the-Art Technology Development

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the IBM Buffalo Innovation Center has opened its first phase of operation in the Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub in downtown Buffalo. The IT hub is funded with a $55 million investment from the Governor’s Buffalo Billion initiative and will create 500 new information technology jobs.

“The business landscape of Western New York continues to evolve and change, growing stronger and attracting leading international businesses such as IBM that have made a significant commitment to the region,” Governor Cuomo said. “This initial phase is the start of bringing more cutting-edge technology and jobs to the area, and is yet another sign that Buffalo is on the move."

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said, “Another day, another victory for the economy of Buffalo, as IBM has chosen to be part of our city’s rebirth into a world class innovation hub. This is a direct consequence of the Buffalo Billion, Governor Cuomo’s signature program that has launched promising new industries and created good paying jobs. In fact, through the IBM Buffalo Innovation Center project alone, we’re committed to the creation of 500 jobs over the course of the next seven years. I would like to thank IBM for its continued partnership and for its decision to make the Queen City its home.”

IBM is the Hub’s first anchor tenant, which will be housed in transitional space in the north tower of the Key Center. It is expected that IBM will this begin this late fall and early winter to move into its permanent space in the south tower of Key Center. The project will train IT professionals, educate new IT staff through partnerships with the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and develop next generation IT software needed to drive state-of-the-art discoveries in the areas of molecular research, genomics, energy efficiency development and defense.

As part of this development, IBM will locate 500 new information technology jobs in the Hub in downtown Buffalo. The Hub will function as a magnet for additional IT companies in partnership with the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, State Data Center, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and University at Buffalo, offering a range of analytics capabilities such as Advanced Analytics, Big Data, Watson Technology, Cloud Computing and Mobile Computing.

As announced previously by the Governor, New York State will commit $55 million through CNSE to be used at the Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub. This includes $15 million to establish an open innovation facility and $40 million to purchase IT equipment and software. The Hub will be owned by New York State and its resources will be made available to all IT units at all state agencies.

Howard Zemsky, President & CEO of Empire State Development and Commissioner of the New York State Department of Economic Development, said, “The transformation of the Buffalo and Western New York economy, thanks to Governor Cuomo’s vision and determination, has hit a stride and level of confidence not seen here in generations. With the arrival of IBM in this new Buffalo Billion-funded IT Hub signifies a major infusion of intellectual capital, good-paying jobs, state-of-the-art high tech applications and a brand that connotes excellence – and this is just phase one. The sky’s the limit in Buffalo and Governor Cuomo wants us to keep reaching higher and pushing harder to achieve even greater success now and in the future.”

Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, President and CEO of SUNY Polytechnic Institute said, “Through the leadership and vision of Governor Andrew Cuomo, Buffalo has been transformed from one of the country’s most struggling cities into one of its most vibrant, and the addition of IBM to the fabric of Western New York continues the region’s unprecedented upward trajectory. In partnership with SUNY Poly, IBM in Buffalo will power breakthrough technologies and workforce training, providing a critical IT support link for Governor Cuomo’s innovation hubs and the state’s rapidly expanding and job-generating innovation economy.”

Michael Cadigan, general manager, IBM Microelectronics said, "We applaud the Governor for his leadership and his commitment to bring the resources and jobs that will make Buffalo a tech hub in New York State. IBM is proud to be part of this important effort and we look forward to working with the State and local academic and business communities to build a bright future for Buffalo."

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, "Creating good-paying, career-supporting jobs and training opportunities is a top priority of my administration and we wholeheartedly welcome IBM to Buffalo and look forward to a continuation of our great relationship, including the strong partnership between the City of Buffalo and IBM that dates back to 2013 when the city won a competitive IBM Smarter Cities grant. The opening of the IBM Buffalo Innovation Center is another indication of the strength of Buffalo’s prospering economy, where over $5 billion in new economic development activity is underway which is expected to result in the creation of over 12,000 new jobs. I’m grateful for the city’s strong partnership with Governor Andrew Cuomo during this extraordinary period of expansion and renewal in Buffalo.”

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, “The arrival of the IBM Buffalo Innovation Center is another sign of the transformation of our region into a high-tech and clean-tech center for information and manufacturing. The IBIC will fit perfectly into the new Erie County, not only bringing new jobs but also bringing the information technologies necessary to grow the tech-based industries that are already here or are on their way. In addition, having an internationally-known business giant such as IBM locating an office in our area shows once again that companies are increasingly realizing that Erie County is a good place to grow their business in the 21st century. Thanks to Governor Cuomo, our economic renaissance continues to gain momentum.”

Senator Tim Kennedy said, "With the first phase of the IBM project now complete, we're truly starting to see the investment that is being made through the creation of this high tech hub. IBM is not only promising to bring hundreds of jobs to our region, but it is making a commitment to build Buffalo's economic foundation long-term. Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, Western New York is quickly becoming a key part of our country’s technological future, leading the way in scientific research that is building a more sustainable world. Once again, this is further proof that the Buffalo Billion is working, and that Buffalo is on the move."

Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes said,"I'm extremely happy to welcome IBM into downtown Buffalo and the 141st District. IBM's core mission here speaks to the importance of STEM academic programming for our students as we continue to create a new economy and support systems in WNY. Congratulations and thank you to IBM, Governor Cuomo, and the entire team at Empire State Development Corporation."

The IT Innovation and Commercialization Hub is part of Governor Cuomo’s long-term commitment to Western New York. The previously announced Buffalo Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and the Buffalo High-Tech Innovation and Commercialization Hub at RiverBend are proceeding on their respective development paths, helping to solidify and diversify the region’s expanding high-tech economy. Through the Buffalo Billion initiative and three rounds of funding through the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, the State has invested more than $800 million in Buffalo and Western New York. This focused strategy is designed to create the types of transformative jobs that will generate economic growth in the region for generations to come.

About IBM

IBM is a globally integrated technology and consulting company headquartered in Armonk, New York. With operations in more than 170 countries, IBM attracts and retains some of the world's most talented people to help solve problems and provide an edge for businesses, governments and non-profits.

Innovation is at the core of IBM's strategy. The company develops and sells software and systems hardware and a broad range of infrastructure, cloud and consulting services.

Today, IBM is focused on four growth initiatives business analytics, cloud computing, growth markets and Smarter Planet. IBMers are working with customers around the world to apply the company's business consulting, technology and R&D expertise to build systems that enable dynamic and efficient organizations, better transportation, safer food, cleaner water and healthier populations.