February 28, 2014

Going big on nano

By: James Fink

Source: Buffalo Business First

Albany’s success at cultivating a powerful nanotechnology sector will be replicated here if economic development officials have their way

Buffalo has a bad case of “nano envy,” but it’s getting better.

Punctuated by the recent announcement that IBM will open an information technology center downtown, the region appears to be turning the corner in its quest to be viewed as a nano center, much the way Albany is regarded.

Since December 2012, companies such as Albany Molecular Research Inc., Silvea, Soiree and now IBM decided to open significant nanotechnology operations here. Advances in the past 15 months have pushed the region to a higher level.

Buffalo’s emergence as a global nano center is based on what’s taking place at the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany.

“We are not trying to reinvent the wheel in Buffalo, but we are inspired by Albany and its nano-based economy,” said Howard Zemsky, the Buffalo developer who co-chairs the Western New York Regional Economic Council. “I mean, how improbable is it that the center of the nanotech universe is in Albany, N.Y.?”

The game plan for Buffalo is to mirror Albany’s success, not be in competition with it. Albany’s focus is on microchip technology, hardware and other systems. The focus for Buffalo is energy, green and medical technologies.

“It plays off our strengths,” said Zemsky, who has taken a lead role in Buffalo’s nano game plan along with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Alain Kaloyeros, Albany’s nanoscale college senior vice president and CEO.

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