Leading Non-Profit to Operate New WNY Facility

January 16, 2014 Updated Jan 16, 2014 at 2:21 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Leading Non-Profit to Operate New WNY Facility

January 16, 2014 Updated Jan 16, 2014 at 2:21 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - Today, Governor Cuomo announced EWI will operate the Advanced Manufacturing Institute, a state-of-the-art facility slated to come to Western New York.

Below is a release from the Governor's office:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced EWI, will operate the Advanced Manufacturing Institute, a state-of-the-art facility to support the growth of Western New York’s manufacturing sector, as part of the Buffalo Billion initiative to spur economic development opportunities in the region. EWI, a leading non-profit advanced manufacturing applied engineering organization, will be housed at 847 Main Street in Buffalo, in a building that is being purchased by the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) with an $8 million Buffalo Billion grant from Empire State Development (ESD). The agreement calls for BNMC to provide, at no cost, space to house EWI for their start-up operations. ESD is also providing $800,000 start-up funding support for EWI.

“The Advanced Manufacturing Institute is an essential component of the Buffalo Billion initiative that will build on Western New York’s manufacturing history to create new economic opportunity for the region,” Governor Cuomo said. “As operator of the Institute, EWI will bring a proven record of helping the industry tackle and solve manufacturing and production issues. Under this partnership, EWI will make Western New York more competitive and position the region as a leader in manufacturing technology and innovation, which will help spur new economic opportunities and job creation for years to come.”

The Advanced Manufacturing Institute will be a shared services enterprise that provides support to commercialize applied research to develop more efficient operational processes and to facilitate entry into new markets. EWI has been selected as the partner to operate the new Institute which will leverage EWI’s capabilities to help the industry resolve manufacturing process and production issues, and make operations more competitive through manufacturing technology innovation.

The Advanced Manufacturing Institute is one of the signature initiatives of the Buffalo Billion Investment Development Plan. Governor Cuomo recognizes that if the region is to reach its potential, the manufacturing sector must be expanded. The Center is part of a multi-pronged strategy to accelerate the growth of specialized manufacturing subsectors that are well positioned for high growth in a globally competitive manufacturing sector.

“Many recent studies have cited the importance of technical innovation to advanced manufacturing competitiveness,” said Howard Zemsky, Regional Council Co-chair and Managing Partner at Larkin Development Group. “The Institute will be a commercially viable enterprise that will conduct applied research and development to spur innovation by helping manufacturers identify, test, and implement manufacturing technologies which create a competitive advantage for their products. The Institute will enable new product and process development with particular emphasis on the region’s growth sectors such as advanced manufacturing, machinery, food processing, chemicals, medical devices and pharmaceuticals.”

Specifically the goals of the strategy are to improve innovation through increased access to applied research and scaled testing facilities for new product and process development, improve productivity by enabling adoption of more effective operational processes to drive greater resource efficiency, and expand markets by providing export assistance to small and medium sized manufacturers.

Advanced manufacturing is an export oriented, innovation-fueled, and opportunity rich sector defined as products and processes based upon innovative, cutting-edge science and technology executed by highly-skilled and well-paid workers.

“The Institute’s service offering will build upon existing regional strengths and partner with organizations that possess complementary capabilities,” said Satish K. Tripathi, President of the University at Buffalo and Regional Council Co-chair. “The Institute will serve as a bridge between leading-edge university research and production floor needs, accelerating the transfer and adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies.”

Martin Berardi, Vice President of Moog Inc., and Chairman of the Advanced Manufacturing Working Group for the Buffalo Billion, said, “The idea is to offer a range of services that capitalize on the region’s existing resources and expertise. The Institute will be an invaluable resource for local industries needing workforce development, R&D, productivity improvement and export assistance. Partnering agreements with regional organizations will also create seamless linkage for industries to access capabilities throughout the region.”

Senator Tim Kennedy said, “Western New York's manufacturing sector was built upon a foundation of hard work that is inherent among our diverse workforce. The Advanced Manufacturing Institute will build upon that foundation by fostering innovation and opening up new opportunities for growth. It will prove to be critical to unlocking our region's potential to become an advanced manufacturing powerhouse. With EWI at the helm, the AMI will steer Buffalo and Western New York along a path toward sustained economic development and job creation.”

Assemblymember Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes said, “I look forward to working with EWI and its partners to train and enhance our local workforces' skill sets. The Advanced Manufacturing Institute, through its training, curriculum and recruitment efforts, will be crucial to re-establishing Buffalo as a prominent and critical hub for advanced manufacturing in the near future.”

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, “This is another important step in our joint efforts, spearheaded by Governor Cuomo, to implement a shared vision for a revived manufacturing base here in Western New York. Erie County fully supports bringing EWI here and looks forward to it commencing operations on Main Street in Buffalo.”

City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, “EWI's selection to provide Buffalo’s advanced manufacturing sector with the tools needed to be highly competitive continues the great momentum that's underway in Buffalo. We’re focused on further fostering a business environment in Buffalo that attracts more investment and job opportunities for city residents. The Advanced Manufacturing Institute facility will respond to industries’ development, resulting in increased innovation, product development, and process efficiency that will benefit the local economy and citizens of Buffalo.”

EWI President and CEO Henry Cialone said, “This is a proven model EWI has seen work in a number of the centers and consortia which it operates as hubs for the advancement of specific technologies and industries. The Institute will be designed to improve public/private collaboration, strengthen Western New York manufacturing supply chains, and make its manufacturers more competitive on a global scale. The Institute will be structured to provide immediate benefit to local companies by enabling a quick start while creating a differentiating capability in Western New York.”

The Institute will also have world-class technical capabilities in areas including: Flexible Automation and Controls, Advanced Materials, Additive Processes, and Advanced Fabrication. Technical capabilities will be built in phases driven by industry demand for technology services in each area.

Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. President & CEO Matthew K. Enstice said, “We commend Governor Cuomo for continuing his strategic vision for and landmark investment in Buffalo by supporting the infrastructure needed to support private sector growth and job creation on the BNMC. Continuing to build out the entrepreneurial ecosystem with a business accelerator at 847 Main Street will significantly aid our ability to grow and attract biotech, health and life sciences companies to Western New York. Only three years after opening, the Innovation Center is nearly at capacity, with more than 53 companies and 300 employees. We anticipate similar success in our newest facility, and we thank the Governor for supporting our work and implementing his vision to grow a high-tech corridor across New York State.”

The search is continuing for the Institute’s permanent facility. A temporary location has been identified at the former Smart Pill building at 847 Main Street in the city of Buffalo., with Institute operations slated to begin in mid-2014. It is envisioned that nearly 50% of the space will be dedicated to laboratories and the balance of the space being filled by large meeting rooms, cafeteria and flexible office space.