Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer launched his effort to secure critical funding for the newly proposed Institute for Advanced Manufacturing Competitiveness in Buffalo, through the federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) as a part of their Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) Planning Grant program. Schumer launched support for the $200,000 Phase 1 grant application, submitted jointly by Empire State Development and consultant EWI, to create the Buffalo-Niagara Institute for Advanced Manufacturing Competitiveness. This Institute would offer support services, particularly in research & development and product development to local small and mid-sized manufacturers in Buffalo that would not be able to afford such expertise otherwise. If awarded the Phase 1 grant, the Advanced Manufacturing Institute could then develop a plan and compete for Phase 2 implementation funding. The Obama Administration has requested $25 million for each winner in future fiscal years.
Schumer noted that this application is supported by the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, another sign of its worth and potential, and pushed the EDA to award this $200,000 grant, which could help the project leverage a significant amount of private funding and additional grant dollars down the road. Schumer noted that this Institute could be a cornerstone in developing advanced manufacturing as a driver of future economic growth in the region, and fits squarely with the mission of the EDA to increase domestic competitiveness and create jobs. The Senator pointed out that the Buffalo-Niagara region is uniquely primed for growth in this sector because of its manufacturing legacy, access to low-cost hydropower, proximity to many U.S. and Canadian cities, and pool of young, talented college graduates from the region's many colleges and universities.
"I am a proud supporter of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council's plan to build an Advanced Manufacturing Institute in Buffalo -- and I am working to secure federal funding through the Economic Development Administration to help launch this important effort," said Schumer. "The Institute is a critical resource that will help existing and new manufacturers work collaboratively with area researchers to continue to grow Western New York's innovation economy. Early funding from the EDA will be a critical building block for this new Institute as it works to rebuild Buffalo's manufacturing strength."
"Advanced Manufacturing is an important piece of our economic puzzle in Western New York, and the development of a new Advanced Manufacturing Institute can help our new and existing manufactures grow," said Howard Zemsky, co-chairman of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council. "Funding from the Economic Development Administration will be critical in helping to get this new Institute off the ground, which is why we are so pleased to have the support of Senator Schumer in this effort."
Currently, leaders in Western New York (WNY) are working to create a new Institute for Advanced Manufacturing Competitiveness, a commercially viable enterprise that will conduct applied R&D to spur growth of the region's manufacturers. This entity will be especially helpful to the region's 1,500 small and medium sized manufacturers and is intended to draw forward-thinking firms from across the country to Western New York. The Institute will provide manufacturers with services in applied R&D; process improvement; export assistance and workforce training. The application for the Advanced Manufacturing Institute was submitted by Empire State Development and EWI, an Ohio consultant that specializes in manufacturing institutes and helping companies develop innovative products.
The Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership Planning Grant, administered through the EDA will award at least 25 communities up to $200,000 each to develop long-term economic development strategies to compete in a globally competitive environment. The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth. Schumer argued that the Advanced Manufacturing Institute in Buffalo is a perfect match for the EDA's mission, and if built, will be a center for economic growth and dynamism for years to come in the Buffalo-Niagara region.
A copy of Senator Schumer's letter to the Economic Development Administration appears below:
I write today in support of Empire State Development (ESD) and EWI's application for the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) Planning Grant. Currently, leaders in Western New York (WNY) are working to create a new Institute for Advanced Manufacturing Competitiveness, a commercially viable enterprise that will conduct applied R&D to spur growth of the region's manufacturers. This entity will be especially helpful to the region's 1,500 small and medium sized manufacturers and is intended to draw forward-thinking firms from across the country to Western New York. The Institute will provide manufacturers with services in applied R&D; process improvement; export assistance and workforce training.
The IMCP Planning Grant would be a perfect match for this new project and could help successfully launch Buffalo's Advanced Manufacturing Institute. By working in partnership with EWI, a renowned expert and successful model for collaboration and innovation in manufacturing which provides applied research, manufacturing support, and strategic services to nearly over 1,200 member company locations worldwide, a successful model has been created that will ensure an effective WNY Institute.
I am proud to support their application to EDA and encourage you to select this worthy project as one of your investments for the IMCP Planning Grant. Such a selection will help achieve our shared goals of job creation, economic development, and increased manufacturing competitiveness in Western New York.
Charles E. Schumer