Small to mid-sized manufacturing companies will have access to Buffalo Manufacturing Works free of charge under a new program funded by the second phase of the Buffalo Billion.
Dubbed Shift, the program will help local manufacturers identify technology that could benefit their businesses, and allow them to tap into the expertise of the collaborative business partnership's internal manufacturing, engineering and R&D teams. The initiative is aimed at making Buffalo's local manufacturing companies more competitive in the global economy.
The program will be funded through a $5 million grant, which is expected to benefit 250 companies over the next three years. It is administered by technology and engineering organization Edison Welding Institute, nonprofit consulting firm Insyte Consulting and consulting firm Next Street.
Right now, the program is a temporary one that will run end three years from now. But EWI said it would work with the local manufacturing industry to determine whether there is a need to extend the program.
The first three years' costs are covered through the Buffalo Billion II grant, but funding would have to be figured out if the program continues beyond that. A nonprofit, the long-term goal for Buffalo Manufacturing Works is to make the manufacturing cooperative self-sustaining using membership and project fees paid by manufacturers who use the program.
"We plan to evolve Shift to continue to deliver programs that help small and medium-sized manufacturers identify, invest in and implement mission critical technology in the long-term," said Elizabeth Callahan, the program's director.
Buffalo Manufacturing Works opened in 2015 at 847 Main St. In 2019, it will move to the Northland Corridor commerce park.