Aimed at generating economic success in western New York, the
new Upstate Alliance for Innovation has won a National Science
Foundation grant of $600,000 for a project to strengthen entrepreneurial
efforts in the region.
The Alliance includes RIT, University at Buffalo, University
of Rochester, mayors' offices in Rochester and Buffalo, High Technology
of Rochester (HTR), the Western New York Technology Development
Center (TDC), and IP.com Inc.
"The main outcome of the Alliance will be a region in-the-know,
excited about innovation and individuals' roles in expanding the
economy," says Donald Boyd, associate provost for outreach programs
and director of RIT's First in Class Initiative. The Alliance
focuses on the importance of growing the high-tech job base in
western New York, especially in terms of intellectual property
and high-tech business start-ups, Boyd explains.
Deputy Mayor Jeff Carlson of Rochester, says, "Rochester has
been the home of some significant expansion in telecommunications
as well as other high-tech businesses. It only makes sense that
we unite area municipalities and our compatriots in Buffalo to
strengthen job growth and workforce development."
Learning innovation processes and business models will contribute
to the Alliance goal of raising invention disclosures and patent
applications by 20 percent, the university partners believe. This
will increase the already substantial activities at UB, UR and
RIT. During the last year, faculty at the three universities disclosed
151 discoveries and inventions and the universities applied for
Another key Alliance goal involves creating more collaborative
research between Alliance schools and small- to mid-size upstate
Additionally, communication among the partners will allow opportunities
for bundling and licensing technologies to create new firms in
the region. The Alliance wants to establish 10 to 15 new companies
in upstate, including spin-offs from the partners' research.
To create companies based on innovators' discoveries, the Alliance
plans to found an Intrapreneurs Roundtable made up of the 100
innovators and associated organizations.
The Alliance will afford more creative ways to bundle inventions
and technology than any of the partners could hope to accomplish
singly, members predict.