Share this article

print logo

What are the Buffalo Billion projects?


Buffalo Billion commitment: $750 million

The project: The state is building the biggest solar panel factory in the Western hemisphere for SolarCity on a 90-acre former brownfield at the Republic Steel site on the Buffalo River in South Buffalo. The state sees the factory as a magnet for other clean energy firms and suppliers.

Completion date: 2017

Computer information technology center

Buffalo Billion commitment: $55 million

The project: Create an innovation center in downtown Buffalo that will focus on analyzing the vast amounts of data that companies collect and helping them make sense of it all so they can identify trends, spot potential problems early on or track customer buying habits. The state also plans to locate a technical services and support center, operated by IBM, within the center.

Completion date: Facility opened last year and will continue to expand through 2021.

Buffalo Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub

Buffalo Billion commitment: $50 million

The project: The state built a biomedical research center for drug discovery firm Albany Molecular Research Inc., which moved to the seventh floor of the Conventus Building on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus last summer. It has announced partnerships with PerkinElmer and HarkerBIO.

Completion date: 2015

Genomic research partnership

Buffalo Billion commitment: $50 million

The project: Create a partnership between the University at Buffalo and the New York Genome Center in Manhattan to develop new ways to treat, prevent and manage serious diseases based on genomic medical research.

Completion date: Unknown

Buffalo Manufacturing Works

Buffalo Billion commitment: $45 million

The project: Create a new center to help local manufacturers develop innovative products that they might not otherwise have the resources to do on their own. The center includes equipment that allows companies to conduct trials involving 3-D printing and robotics. The center offers resources and facilities that small to midsized companies need – but often can’t afford – to develop new products and other innovations.

Completion date: Opened in April 2015.

43North business plan challenge

Buffalo Billion commitment: $25 million over five years

The project: Stage an annual global competition that will spur innovation and entrepreneurship by seeking the most promising ideas for new businesses, with the winners receiving prizes ranging from $500,000 to $1 million to start their companies in Buffalo Niagara.

Completion date: Contest is in its third year.

Workforce training and development

Buffalo Billion commitment: $50 million

The project: Create a hub for workforce development and other activity on the East Side. Project includes a $20 million workforce training center on Northland Avenue, aimed at building a cadre of workers with skills that are in demand by local manufacturers and other employers. The training center is part of a larger $50 million light industrial economic development zone.

Completion date: 2017 and beyond.

Niagara Falls tourism

Buffalo Billion commitment: More than $31.5 million

The project: To make Niagara Falls a more attractive tourist stop, the state is backing several projects for downtown Niagara Falls to help turn it into a better venue for tourists. That includes negotiations with Uniland Development Co. on a so-called “Wonder Falls Resort” plan to redevelop part of the Rainbow Center mall site. The state also has removed a roughly one-mile stretch of the Robert Moses Parkway along the upper rapids of the Niagara River and plans to remove a section south of the Falls. The state wants to add scenic overlooks along the gorge and create recreational trails in the newly restored strip of land.

Completion date: Ongoing

Daemen College/Empire Visual Effects

Buffalo Billion commitment: $4.5 million

The project: Daemen College and Empire Visual Effects are trying to create a visual effects industry in Buffalo in an attempt to gain a foothold in an industry that has the potential to grow.

Completion date: Ongoing

Story topics: