BNMC & Partners Awarded up to $8.2 Million to Improve Transportation Access.

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has selected the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BMNC) as one of five U.S. locations to pilot the Complete Trip – ITS4US Deployment Program.  The Complete Trip – ITS4US Deployment Program challenges communities to identify ways to provide more efficient, affordable, and accessible transportation options for underserved populations that often face greater challenges in accessing essential services.

Continue reading “BNMC & Partners Awarded up to $8.2 Million to Improve Transportation Access.”

BNMC Shifts Existing Grant Funding to Increase Capacity of Local Food Supply Chain During Pandemic

BNMC Shifts Existing Grant Funding to Support Efforts of Farmers, Not-for-Profit Organizations, and Small Distributors to Increase Capacity of Local Food Supply Chain During Pandemic

Projects Support the Longer-Term Goal of Improving Access to Institutional Procurement

 

BUFFALO, NY—The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC) has partnered with four local organizations to support projects that will increase the food system resiliency in our community. A total of $20,000 has been distributed to local partners to support the production and distribution of local foods, as well as the sustainability and growth of small farms and distribution businesses that may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding has been made available through “BNMC Fresh: Farm to Hospital Implementation,” an existing three-year grant that the BNMC received in 2018 through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Local Food Promotion Program.

This collaborative initiative is designed to create a model that prioritizes local agriculture from New York State, enabling farms to access new markets (hospitals), and can be replicated across the state. The initiative is expected to create a culture that embraces local farms through prioritizing local procurement; establishes and expands community supported agriculture (CSA) and farmers’ market programs; establishes food chain transparency; increases awareness and knowledge among consumers of local food procurement efforts; and provides knowledge and skill-building opportunities to agribusiness stakeholders (farmers, distributor, food service teams). This project ultimately aims to make local procurement a regular practice and culture among health care institutions.

“Our grant manager at USDA was very understanding about our efforts to increase healthy local foods in hospitals slowing as our health care partners shift their full attention to caring for our community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marla Guarino, BNMC’s Farm to Institution Program Coordinator “We were able to redistribute the funds originally earmarked for conferences, travel, and longer-term strategies that are currently on hold, and expand the scope of the initiative to have a more immediate impact on making our local food system more resilient.”

Guarino added, “Implementing these short-term wins more quickly supports the overall goal of the grant – increasing the ability of small farmers and organizations to play a role in institutional procurement, such as hospitals, colleges and universities, prisons, and school districts.”

In order to support the local food chain supply quickly during the pandemic, the BNMC team looked to extend projects with existing partner organizations, primarily focusing on infrastructure capital improvement; equipment; and data enhancement.  Priority was given to projects that were able to be completed within 4-6 months; collaborative efforts; minority and women-led; and infrastructure moving toward institutional procurement in the future. All final decisions required wp-contentroval from the BNMC USDA grants manager.

The team worked with the USDA in April for wp-contentroval to redirect funding, and identified the priority projects with partner organizations in May. All organizations received the funding over the summer and are well on their way to enacting change.

The following four organizations each received $5,000:

St. John’s Baptist Church, God’s Farm’acy Mobile Truck

God’s Farm’acy is a mobile food truck and raised garden initiative that distributes hot meals, fruits, and vegetables for free throughout the Fruit Belt and other underserved communities. The team at St. John’s also uses the truck to offer healthy cooking classes in the community.  They used the funds to add refrigeration to the mobile food truck, allowing them to help eliminate food desserts by increasing access to fresh foods and nutrition information. Received: Funds toward refrigeration for Mobile Truck

Groundwork Market Garden: Groundwork Market Garden is a family-owned farm on the East Side of Buffalo. GMG received funds to develop and promote a digital catalog of local farm products available for purchase. This digital catalog will be updated regularly and used to secure business with larger institutions that small farms traditionally do not serve. GMG plans to include all local urban growers into the catalog as a way to procure larger contracts and promote local farms. Received: Funds for development of digital catalog, on-line marketplace and marketing support

“These funds are helping to bring our farm up to speed with the current trend for local food to be available through online marketplaces,” said Anders Gunnersen, GMG cofounder. “The online catalog will separate our products by retail and wholesale and will be used as a means to sell produce, and as a marketing tool for our farm to reach more people and institutions in the city of Buffalo and Western NY. This project is going to streamline our sales processes and tracking, and better market our products to a much larger and broader audience.”

Produce Peddlers: Produce Peddlers is an online marketplace for buying and selling produce that prevents food waste and saves money. They received funds to reconfigure its delivery van with a refrigeration unit to increase its ability to deliver fresh and local perishable goods to consumers and businesses in the WNY region. When the COVID-19 pandemic closed many businesses, farmers and other suppliers started to back up on product. In an attempt to help, Produce Peddlers opened its marketplace to individual consumers, who were also looking for alternative avenues to source their food that didn’t involve having to go out in public places. Refrigeration will allow Produce Peddlers to handle more goods safely, be GHP compliant, and streamline its delivery methods. Received: Funds for refrigeration for mobile truck

“The ability to refrigerate our delivery vehicle has propelled our business to new heights!” said Gina Wieczorek, Co-founder, VP Operations, Produce Peddlers. “We are now able to safely transport and deliver all sorts of locally grown and produced food, including animal products, meat and other processed items, to restaurants, schools and institutions all over WNY without breaking the cold chain.”

Urban Fruits & Veggies: Urban Fruits & Veggies is an urban agriculture business with two urban farms and a mobile produce market focused on providing access and nutrition education to underserved communities in the WNY area. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are growing three times as much as they usually do to support requests for food delivery, and therefore need additional growing supplies, specifically refrigeration equipment. They also need office equipment to facilitate data tracking and growing partnerships with organizations and established programs to ensure they are addressing the social determinants to health. Received: Funds for computer, laptop and printer

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About the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc.

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC): re-imagining our city’s future through the dynamic intersection of technology, health, discovery, and collaboration. The BNMC is a social enterprise focused on cultivating inclusive innovation in partnership with our community. We do this by improving infrastructure, managing our transportation system, creating a culture of health and wellbeing, driving innovation, and working with our partners to continue to build an innovative district that reflects the best of our community. In addition, the BNMC owns and operates more than 150,000 sq ft of incubator space, helping to grow a diverse array of emerging and mature companies through dynamic workspace, programming, and networking. www.bnmc-old.local

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For more information: Marla Guarino, 716.867.9528

 

Be In Buffalo Newcomer Survey

Be In Buffalo Newcomer Survey

If you are new to Buffalo, or if you’ve recently moved back, Be in Buffalo wants to hear from you!

Take the Newcomer Survey, designed to determine our region’s strengths and deficiencies, and create a roadmap forward for how to better welcome new residents to the City of Good Neighbors.

The confidential survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete and questions range a wide variety of topics so we can best map our future needs. Take it today! The survey ends October 20.

IC Success: Back to School Business Academy Virtual Series Begins Oct. 6th

IC Success: Back to School Business Academy

This free, eight-week webinar series will help you build and grow your business. Now is the time to invest your time and effort in yourself!

The BNMC’s IC Success: Back to School Business Academy webinar series runs every Tuesday from October 6th – November 24th from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm via Zoom. See below for the topic each week.

Register now for the entire series.

Zoom links will be shared after registration. We recommend attending all 8 sessions to get the most out of this series.

IC Success is an education series started by the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC) in 2019 as way to create pathways and building blocks for success in the small business community. BNMC is committed to helping all small businesses, including women, minority, and Veteran-owned businesses and enterprises to reach their full potential.

Attend all eight sessions and receive one free month at dig at the Innovation Center, the region’s best co-working space!

October 6th – So You Want to Start a Business – Now What?

20 questions to ask yourself, including: Who is my customer and how can I make them feel valued?; What is my product(s)/service(s)?; and What type of legal structure would be best for me to operate my business?

October 13th – Working through Start-up Costs

To properly understand if this will ultimately be a profitable business, we must do an analysis of all of the costs you will encounter to start and run your business. We will work through those on a provided worksheet. This will ultimately help us to determine what the price should be for your various product(s) and/or service(s).

October 20th – Creating Pricing and Revenue Projections – Will This Company Be Able to Make Money?

We will use provided Excel worksheets to determine fixed costs and variable costs to set a price for your products and services. From there, we can create revenue projections. Also, if the company is profitable, what are some investment options to manage the excess cash flow?

October 27th – Putting It All Together and Creating Pro-forma Financial Statements

We will use our Projected Revenue worksheets created in Excel and our Fixed and Variable cost worksheets to create the major pro-forma financial statements including an income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow projections.

November 3rd – Marketing and Building Parts of the Business Plan

We will create a marketing plan including a definition of your customer and how to make those customers feel valued through customer satisfaction. We will include a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Opportunities, Weaknesses and Threats) for your specific business.

November 10th – Management/Operations/Human Resources, Completing the Business Plan, and Legally Filing Your Business in Erie County

We answer questions such as, “Do I need a license to operate my business,” and “How do I file a business name in Erie County?” And, operationally, “What software packages can help me operate my business?” In addition, we will go over the “Guide to doing Business in Erie County” that is on the Erie County website. We will cover the major laws that you will need to know about if you hire employees, and how to retain and motivate those employees.

November 17th – Local Guest Speakers who have had Business Success

Open questions for entrepreneurs in our area who have already had success! Ask them what you would like to hear about! Perhaps, “How do you manage the life/work balance with this business operation taking up so much of your time.” Ask anything!

November 24th – Panel of Subject Matter Experts, Including CPA, Attorney, Insurance and a Banker

We will cover basics of taxes and the legal structure of your business. And, “Do I need an insurance agent, an attorney and a banker?”

This series will be led by Kerry Collard, MBA, a former banking executive who has taught in the field of Business Administration and Entrepreneurship for over nineteen years at local colleges in the Buffalo area.

Farm-To-Hospital: Fresh, Local Foods Coming to a Cafeteria Near You

Farm-To-Hospital: Fresh, Local Foods Coming to a Cafeteria Near You!

The BNMC’s Farm to Hospital initiative is designed to bring more locally grown and sourced produce, proteins, and other menu items to patients, visitors, and employees across the Medical Campus, in partnership with Kaleida Health and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Benefits of New York State Grown Foods

We all have heard the buzz about local foods.  But what does it really mean?

When businesses and institutions buy local it can have remarkable effects on public health, the environment and the local economy.  The mere questioning of where food is produced allows us to become more aware of what we put into our bodies.  And when the benefits are listed, there seems to be little question of the better option.

Wow, this stuff is tasty!  Locally grown food is at optimal freshness, picked at the peak of ripeness and therefore full of flavor.  Produce retains more nutrients and is higher in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  With fewer steps between you and the source of your food, contamination is far less likely. As well, local farmers may be using less or no pesticides and herbicides, which is healthier for the body especially for those who are immunocompromised.

In Western New York we love our green spaces and blue waters.  And, our “City of Good Neighbors” nature can extend to helping the environment too.  Eating more local foods reduces C02 emissions through less food miles travelled, helping with overall climate change.  When our producers operate well-managed farms it help protect the naturally rich ecosystem by conserving our fertile soil and fresh water from Lake Erie, as well as sequestering carbon from the atmosphere.  Buying local protects our amazing natural resources for future generations to enjoy.

Money helps too!  Choosing local supports OUR farmers. More dollars stay within the local economy and provide the security producers need to continue in this rewarding yet challenging work.  We should all be proud.  New York State ranks nationally for its top agricultural products such as wp-contentles, maple syrup and pumpkins. We are third in the nation for our dairy, wine & grapes, cabbage, cauliflower and fourth for tart cherries, fresh market sweet corn, squash, pears.  Here in Western New York we are surrounded by rural farmland and in the past decade, urban farming in Buffalo has become a mainstay and hydroponic farms provide offerings throughout the year.

Grant-Funded Program Increases Access to Healthy, Local Foods in Hospitals

In 2018, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC) was one of 44 organizations nationwide and one of just four organizations in New York State to receive a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture Local Food Promotion Program to help create a culture of healthy food practices and increase local food procurement.  “BNMC Fresh: Farm to Hospital Implementation” works to prioritize local agriculture within hospitals and enables farms to access new markets such as health care institutions.

Our Partners’ Role

From the beginning of BNMC’s commitment to supporting local agriculture, the food services teams at both Roswell and Kaleida Health have been leading the charge.  Devoted to providing the healthiest options, Roswell Park’s Director of Nutrition and Food Services Chris Dibble had this to say, “The culinary team at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center strives to procure and utilize local produce whenever possible. Our Farm to Table program not only supports local farmers, but also provides benefits to our patients and visitors.  Eating fruits and vegetables closest to their harvest times is always ideal because they are most nutritious at that point.”

RPCCC has encouraged their employees to take part in Community Supported Agriculture programs, extending these benefits to home dinner tables.  Their team has travelled to learn more about what other hospitals are doing to support regional local food systems.

Similarly, since the start of this initiative at Kaleida, Metz Culinary has worked with the BNMC team to build on their promise of healthy offerings as well as providing helpful information on where they are sourcing their foods from and the benefits of farm fresh local foods.

“Metz’s commitment to procuring locally grown and sourced produce and meats aligns well with Kaleida Health’s commitment to advancing the health of our community,” said Hank Cole, director of Rehabilitation Medicine and Ambulatory Clinics at Buffalo General Medical Center. “Through Metz, we’re able to provide our patients, residents, employees and guests with healthy meal options, made with the freshest ingredients, while also supporting our local farmers. It’s a win-win situation. “

Kaleida and Metz are launching a Farm to Hospital campaign to share information on fruits and veggies they use in their menu as well as introducing the producers. Recently they featured a pop-up Farmer’s Market in the cafeteria, which is a fun way of getting these veggies out into homes.

Stay Tuned!

The BNMC team are proud to showcase the hard work of our food service teams and our local farmers and are hwp-contenty to help provide the healthiest – and tastiest! – culinary offerings out there.  Throughout the upcoming year, our Farm to Hospital team will provide employees, patients and visitors with BNMC Farm-to-Hospital Implementation information about featured local produce, as well as introducing the amazing farmers behind the products.  Keep your eyes out for the latest informational messages coming your way. And enjoy the tastes of the season!

How ‘innovation districts’ are continuing the fight against COVID-19

How ‘innovation districts’ are continuing the fight against COVID-19

Local research and discoveries relating to COVID-19 were featured recently in a blog from the Global Institute on Innovation Districts (GIID) and published by the Brookings Institute. Work being done at the University at Buffalo, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, and local companies Rapid Medical Parts and Innosek were included.

The BNMC is a steering member of the Global Institute on Innovation Districts, a global network of practitioners. Our work with these international leaders provides strategic connections around the world.

 

 

March Madness Data Metrics – Postponed

This event has been postponed, We will make an announcement when it can be rescheduled.
On March 18, 2020, 2:30-4:30 pm, TIBCO will be at the Innovation Center to show YOU how you can accurately predict the winners and losers of the largest basketball tournament of the year with TIBCO’s industry-leading data analytics software. Last year, TIBCO customers had a 98% accuracy rate, and a majority of last year’s attendees actually won their office pools! So come ready to make your predictions, compare your bracket with other attendees, and gain last-minute tips to improve your chances of winning this season!

Oh yeah, did we mention that there’s a FREE HAPPY HOUR too???

UB’s CTSI Community Partnership Development Seed Grant

The University at Buffalo’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) provides seed grants that support the planning of community-based participatory research projects and engagement of communities in research.
The goal of these awards is to increase the number of community-academic partnerships that are prepared to collaborate on the design and implementation of research projects, specifically those that address health disparities, aim to improve health equity, and generate preliminary data for submission of larger grants to intramural and extramural sources. Seed grants not exceeding $5,000 will be awarded to academic-community teams for:

  • Development of community-engaged research partnerships
  • Collaboration on the design of pilot research
  • Development of community-engaged research proposals for external funding

Letters of Intent are due by March 9, 2020. Selected LOIs will be invited to submit full proposals based on criteria outlined in the RFP.

CLICK HERE for more information!

BNMC’s Innovation Center Buzzes with Activity!

BNMC’s Innovation Center Buzzes with Activity!

This summer at BNMC’s Innovation Center was jam packed with events, programming, and new companies from all over the country and world who joined our growing community! The BNMC team made sure that there was no shortage of networking and collaboration opportunities hosted throughout the building and around Campus. These complimentary programs are just a small part of what we offer to our tenants, partners, and surrounding communities at the Innovation Center. Here are a some of highlights from the summer of 2019 on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus:

New Companies Join the IC Community! 

In the last few months, we welcomed several new companies to the Innovation Center with a number of exciting announcements coming soon! We’re honored to be the new home for remote workers for tech giants, not-for-profits, entrepreneurs, creatives, and international companies landing in Buffalo from the UK, Brazil, and Canada. New companies to our IC community include: SparkOrange + Salesforce, DigitalOcean, The Avenue Code, and Hustle Athletics.

Startup Grind with Glenn Jackson of M&T Bank

On July 24th, the BNMC welcomed Glenn Jackson, Chief Diversity Officer at M&T Bank to the IC as our featured guest at Startup Grind Buffalo. Startup Grind, the world’s largest network of entrepreneurs, is hosted monthly at the IC and features networking opportunities and a fireside chat with a special guest. Glenn and I sat down to talk about technology, inclusivity, the future of tech in Buffalo, and what it really means to be a CDO. The conversation was riveting, the networking was unmatched, and the attendance was phenomenal. All of this adds up to make for one fantastic summer event at the Innovation Center!

Startup Grind with Brett Mikoll and Dave Horesh

Our second Startup Grind of the summer featured Oxford Pennant co-founders, Brett Mikoll and Dave Horesh. Oxford Pennant is one of Buffalo’s most exciting and fastest growing brands. This time, I sat down with both Brett and Dave to talk about building a brand through social media, effectively working with giant brands as a startup, managing an overwhelming amount of orders, and the true meaning of collaboration. The community left the Innovation Center that night charged up and ready to take on the world just like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who actually has an Oxford Pennant in every one of his gyms around the world!
 

Small Business Summer School

For upwards of 75 small businesses in Buffalo, Small Business Summer School was in session! Ignite Buffalo, UB CEL, and the BNMC teamed up to offer a complimentary 8-week small business curriculum targeted at covering the most important topics needed to start or run a company. This program attracted small businesses and entrepreneurs from all over WNY. The 8 weeks were cwp-contented off with a top notch graduation ceremony, complete with graduation caps, diplomas, and awards for perfect attendance!
 

Breakfast Blend

The BNMC team hosted three Breakfast Blend events at the IC this summer. Breakfast Blend, in my opinion, is the place to see and be seen! This event offers an amazing breakfast spread, unlimited coffee, updates from companies from within the IC, lots of great news from the community, and a chance to get to know other entrepreneurs and innovators. This is a perfect event to keep a temperature on who is in the building and what they are working on. We are looking forward to the Buffalo Bills themed Breakfast Blend in October!

BNMC’s Innovation Center Buzzes with Activity!

BNMC’s Innovation Center Buzzes with Activity!

This summer at BNMC’s Innovation Center was jam packed with events, programming, and new companies from all over the country and world who joined our growing community! The BNMC team made sure that there was no shortage of networking and collaboration opportunities hosted throughout the building and around Campus. These complimentary programs are just a small part of what we offer to our tenants, partners, and surrounding communities at the Innovation Center. Here are a some of highlights from the summer of 2019 on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus:

New Companies Join the IC Community! 

In the last few months, we welcomed several new companies to the Innovation Center with a number of exciting announcements coming soon! We’re honored to be the new home for remote workers for tech giants, not-for-profits, entrepreneurs, creatives, and international companies landing in Buffalo from the UK, Brazil, and Canada. New companies to our IC community include: SparkOrange + Salesforce, DigitalOcean, The Avenue Code, and Hustle Athletics.

Startup Grind with Glenn Jackson of M&T Bank

On July 24th, the BNMC welcomed Glenn Jackson, Chief Diversity Officer at M&T Bank to the IC as our featured guest at Startup Grind Buffalo. Startup Grind, the world’s largest network of entrepreneurs, is hosted monthly at the IC and features networking opportunities and a fireside chat with a special guest. Glenn and I sat down to talk about technology, inclusivity, the future of tech in Buffalo, and what it really means to be a CDO. The conversation was riveting, the networking was unmatched, and the attendance was phenomenal. All of this adds up to make for one fantastic summer event at the Innovation Center!

Startup Grind with Brett Mikoll and Dave Horesh

Our second Startup Grind of the summer featured Oxford Pennant co-founders, Brett Mikoll and Dave Horesh. Oxford Pennant is one of Buffalo’s most exciting and fastest growing brands. This time, I sat down with both Brett and Dave to talk about building a brand through social media, effectively working with giant brands as a startup, managing an overwhelming amount of orders, and the true meaning of collaboration. The community left the Innovation Center that night charged up and ready to take on the world just like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who actually has an Oxford Pennant in every one of his gyms around the world!
 

Small Business Summer School

For upwards of 75 small businesses in Buffalo, Small Business Summer School was in session! Ignite Buffalo, UB CEL, and the BNMC teamed up to offer a complimentary 8-week small business curriculum targeted at covering the most important topics needed to start or run a company. This program attracted small businesses and entrepreneurs from all over WNY. The 8 weeks were cwp-contented off with a top notch graduation ceremony, complete with graduation caps, diplomas, and awards for perfect attendance!
 

Breakfast Blend

The BNMC team hosted three Breakfast Blend events at the IC this summer. Breakfast Blend, in my opinion, is the place to see and be seen! This event offers an amazing breakfast spread, unlimited coffee, updates from companies from within the IC, lots of great news from the community, and a chance to get to know other entrepreneurs and innovators. This is a perfect event to keep a temperature on who is in the building and what they are working on. We are looking forward to the Buffalo Bills themed Breakfast Blend in October!

Celebrating Community at our 3rd Annual Summer Block Party

Celebrating Community at our 3rd Annual Summer Block Party

OK! Normally I have a more formal writing style, but we are fam so I’m going to just hit you with this info. I’m not trying to give you FOMO or anything, but… if you missed BNMC’s 3rd Annual Summer Block Party, you missed a lot! People are saying that it was the best one yet. It had everything that makes a great party. View our Facebook photo album to see all the smiling faces!

Great venue: The weather was a perfect 73 degrees with a slight breeze on August 22nd at Kaminski Park & Gardens at Roswell Park.

Great food: Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs served up nearly 1,000 hot dogs at the event! Aunt Connie’s Ed-U- Kitchen brought her iconic smoothie bike (you know, the one that you get on and it powers the blender to make the smoothie), plus delicious watermelon and salad. James the Ice Cream Dude with his ice cream bike. There is nothing like a Bomb Pop on a summer day!

Great music: DJ P was on the 1’s and 2’s spinning some upbeat tunes. His energy and presence on the mic keep the party going. We also had the A-Team Band who hopped on the instruments and played some hits from the 90s and early 2000s.

Dancing: With music like that you can’t help but dance! We did all the line dances, but Zumba was clearly the biggest hit. Thanks to Kelly Patton for helping us dance some of those calories off.

Games: We had Clown Around Entertainment provide our Carnival Games, face painting, and a dunk tank which the kids and families loved!

The best part of all was the GREAT people. There were almost 1,000 people who attended this year, including employees, patients, students, and neighbors who all came together to create an amazing family-friendly event.

Next year we plan to do it even bigger and better!

Celebrating Community at our 3rd Annual Summer Block Party

Celebrating Community at our 3rd Annual Summer Block Party

OK! Normally I have a more formal writing style, but we are fam so I’m going to just hit you with this info. I’m not trying to give you FOMO or anything, but… if you missed BNMC’s 3rd Annual Summer Block Party, you missed a lot! People are saying that it was the best one yet. It had everything that makes a great party. View our Facebook photo album to see all the smiling faces!

Great venue: The weather was a perfect 73 degrees with a slight breeze on August 22nd at Kaminski Park & Gardens at Roswell Park.

Great food: Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs served up nearly 1,000 hot dogs at the event! Aunt Connie’s Ed-U- Kitchen brought her iconic smoothie bike (you know, the one that you get on and it powers the blender to make the smoothie), plus delicious watermelon and salad. James the Ice Cream Dude with his ice cream bike. There is nothing like a Bomb Pop on a summer day!

Great music: DJ P was on the 1’s and 2’s spinning some upbeat tunes. His energy and presence on the mic keep the party going. We also had the A-Team Band who hopped on the instruments and played some hits from the 90s and early 2000s.

Dancing: With music like that you can’t help but dance! We did all the line dances, but Zumba was clearly the biggest hit. Thanks to Kelly Patton for helping us dance some of those calories off.

Games: We had Clown Around Entertainment provide our Carnival Games, face painting, and a dunk tank which the kids and families loved!

The best part of all was the GREAT people. There were almost 1,000 people who attended this year, including employees, patients, students, and neighbors who all came together to create an amazing family-friendly event.

Next year we plan to do it even bigger and better!

BNMC Joins Steering Committee with Global Innovation District Leaders, Highlighted in Research Brief

BNMC Joins Steering Committee with Global Innovation District Leaders, Highlighted in Research Brief

For more than 15 years, we have been working together with our partners to create a collaborative and inclusive innovation district. In 2014, a paper by the Brookings Institution on the rise of innovation districts supported our efforts in this area and gave a name to the anchors and innovators plus model that we had been creating.

The BNMC is proud to be a part of the steering committee for the Global Institute on Innovation Districts (GIID), global leaders working together to network innovation districts, and to be featured in a new research brief released today by GIID, “The Evolution of Innovation Districts: The New Geography of Global Innovation,” written by Julie Wagner, Bruce Katz, and Thomas Osha.

More than 100 innovation districts exist around the world today with 200 more poised to come online soon, as stated in the report. The authors note: “Roughly twenty districts have reached a high level of sophistication, concentrating in close proximity a mix of research institutions, mature companies, start-ups and scale-ups, co-working spaces, and supportive intermediaries.” We are proud to be one of these 20 districts leading this new form of economic development as we seek to create a national model to rebuild communities using social design through our MutualCity methodology.

According to the authors, “Districts, by their nature, are living labs where creativity and experimentation intersect with the precision of science. Districts are places that fan the flames of organic, evolutionary growth but also drive intentional, deliberate change.”

This perfectly describes what we have been doing here in Buffalo through MutualCity. MutualCity is a practical manual for urban change—from crafting a vision to managing the inevitable conflicts and challenges. We develop this playbook through the principles of mutual understanding, connection, action, collaboration, investment, adaptiveness, and continually asking “what if?”

We operate through a collaborative model that brings diverse stakeholders together under a shared vision to leverage opportunities and challenges faced by our community to create a better future for all. We have successfully implemented this model throughout the past 15 years. And while this process takes time and is not a silver bullet, we believe working together is the only way to enact real change.

We look forward to being a part of the new Global Institute, to both learn from our peers around the world and to continue to play a leadership role in building this vital and inspiring economic driver for our region.

Diversity and Inclusion Drives Innovation

BNMC’s Community Program Manager, Kyria Stephens, recently attended the National Diversity and Leadership conference in Dallas, TX. Check out his thoughts on the meaning of diversity and inclusion, and how it creates an innovative, collaborative community.

Diversity and Inclusion Drives Innovation

When you hear the words diversity and inclusion, what do you think? How do you define it? My answer sounded like, “creating environments and pathways for women and minority groups to thrive in the workplace?” But after attending National Diversity and Leadership conference in Dallas, Texas, I realize that answer is only the tip of the iceberg.

Yes, diversity and inclusion are about creating an emotionally safe work environment in which a person doesn’t have to check their ethnicity at the door to fit in with the dominate culture. Yes, D&I is about making sure that the workplace reflects what the world really looks like at every level. Yes, it is about equal pay for people who do the same job. Yes! Its about doing the right thing for all people… But as I sat and reflected on amazing workshops and poured over the notes I took from keynote speakers, Colin Powell, America Ferrera and President Barak Obama, I realized that diversity and inclusion at its core is about filling blind spots and gap with people with unique vantagepoints.

One of the phrases that echoed throughout the conference is that diversity is a fact, but inclusion is a choice. This world doesn’t have a problem with diversity! Just look around and you will see diversity because it hwp-contentens naturally when all people have access to a space. The problem we have is inclusion. The reason we have inclusion problems is most often because people naturally gravitate to people who look like, think and view the world the same as themselves. But, when that hwp-contentens our perspective becomes narrowed. A person’s ethnicity, culture, gender, education, past experiences and personality creates a unique lens that produces a different perspective. Diverse perspectives allow for a greater vision, a greater vision and creativity go hand in hand and where there is creativity there is innovation.

So, without D&I we are limiting growth, slowing advancement and hindering innovation!

BNMC Highlighted as Smart Management Model

BNMC Highlighted as Smart Management Model

The BNMC was featured in national pub Governing this week in a piece entitled “The Teamwork that Drives a Great Civic Project.” Our founders, former Mayor Tony Masiello, Tom Beecher, Matt Enstice and Rick Reinhard, shared the importance of making smart tactical choices, strategic planning, and putting the right pieces together to achieve collaborative success. Read the piece here.

BNMC Featured in “The City Fix” Blog

BNMC Featured in “The City Fix” Blog

The BNMC was recently featured in “The CityFix”, a blog highlighting urban sustainability and development, as an example of how social design is changing the way we build and conceive of cities. Written by longtime partner Cheryl Heller, “Social design offers a more collaborative vision of urban development” highlights how innovation comes from collaboration and paying attention to the power of relationships.

Heller is the director of design integration at Arizona State University and founder of the first MFA program in social design at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and author of the “Intergalactic Design Guide: Harnessing the Creative Potential of Social Design.”

Sparking a Culture of Health on the BNMC

Sparking a Culture of Health on the BNMC

BNMC’s healthy communities team has been busy catalyzing wellness initiatives across Campus and our surrounding neighborhoods! From Spark micro-grants to workplace wellbeing and federal grants, we’re proud to be at the forefront of building a healthier city.

Our wp-contentroach includes:

Piloting new technologies:

We installed Byte in the lobby of the Innovation Center earlier in 2018 in partnership with Farmers & Artisans. They keep it stocked with fresh, wholesome, local food options available 24/7. We were able to purchse this through our Creating Healthy Schools and Communities grant from the NYS Department of Health.  We have purchased two other machines, are rebranding them as FRESHTAKES, and will be installing them at the Jacobs Institute in the Gates Vascular Institute and the UBMD offices at Conventus.

Growing fresh produce when possible:

Through this same grant, we were able to get several Grow Towers to allow local organizations to grow their own fresh produce. Our Grow Tower in the Innovation Center has produced a variety of greens – gourmet lettuces, dinosaur kale, bok choy, and herbs like basil and parsley. We had a building get-together and made soup for everyone, and on harvest days have salad parties. We provided a tower to Hospice Buffalo, where they have been growing fresh produce to use in their cafeteria and patient menus. We also provided a Grow Tower to Erie Community College Downtown Campus for their culinary program, which supports healthier ingredients on their menu for staff, students, and the general public.

Providing Spark funding:

Through the BNMC Spark microgrant program, we provided funding for 17 different local projects, several of which involved increasing access to fresh food for our local neighborhoods. The Moot Center, a longtime partner of the BNMC, was able to build a pergola to finish off its raised garden beds that our team helped them build in 2017, allowing seniors to garden in the shade, and  providing covered space for their weekly farmer’s market and events. We also supported Fresh Fix, a local CSA that has a buy one, give one wp-contentroach.

Promoting healthy eating options on and around Campus:

We debuted our Food Map this year and quickly ran out! This guide showcases places within a few minute walk from institutions on the BNMC and encourages employees to get out and get moving on their breaks. We are currently updating and reprinting, so please let us know if you see something missing.

Seeking grant funding to support projects:

We recently launched a three-year, $351K project with support from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Local Food Promotion Program to create a model for health care institutions to integrate technology and cultivate a culture of healthy food practices to increase local food procurement. We will be moving into the public phase of this effort in 2019, so stay tuned for more! This implementation grant was a follow-on to a $25,000 planning grant we received two years ago through the same program to increase healthy food in health care.

Collaborating to eliminate disparities in food access:

Under the lead of the Mobile Safety-Net Team, we are part of a collaborative coalition of local organizations, store owners, and community members to address urban food deserts. The Healthy Corner Store Initiative aims to bring fresh fruits and vegetables, taste tests, and nutrition education, to convenience stores throughout the city to engage residents in a healthy lifestyle.

This is just a brief snapshot at some of the work the BNMC team is doing to create a culture of health and wellbeing in our community. Learn more at bnmc-old.local/health.

The Future Is Now: Celebrating Our Wins & Looking Forward

The Future Is Now: Celebrating Our Wins & Looking Forward

We are honored to have spent another year focused on growing our community into a vibrant, innovative environment. Together with our partners, we’re working to improve infrastructure, manage a transportation system, build a culture of health, and drive innovation, job growth and economic development to create a better, more inclusive Buffalo for all. Take a look at some of the things we are most proud of last year that we will continue to focus on in 2019:

Strengthened community partnerships, especially through our BNMC Spark micro-grant program

We are excited to kick off our 2nd year of BNMC Spark by inviting local community members and organizations to wp-contently for grant funding for projects that help strengthen the community in neighborhoods adjacent to the Medical Campus. Through BNMC Spark, a micro-grant pilot program, the BNMC will award a total of $40,000 in 2019 with maximum grants to individual organizations for $3,500 for project grants. The BNMC awarded $37,000 to 17 organizations in 2018 through BNMC Spark.

Joined National Commission to Slash Transportation Energy Use by Half

Matt Enstice, BNMC’s President and CEO was invited to be a part of the national commission launched by the Alliance to Save Energy to develop recommendations to reduce energy use in the U.S. transportation sector by 50 percent by 2050 while meeting future mobility needs. Matt is one of only two representatives from New York State selected for the commission, along with Gil Quiniones, President and CEO of the New York Power Authority and the only representative from Western New York. This year the BNMC joined the Commission in releasing recommendations to cut transportation energy use in half. Read Matt’s column in the Buffalo News to learn why this is important for the BNMC and for our region. 

Awarded the USDA Farm-to-Hospital Grant to Create a Healthier Campus

We just began a $351,000, three-year initiative to create a model for health care institutions to integrate technology and cultivate a culture of healthy food practices to increase local food procurement. The BNMC is one of 44 organizations around the country, and one of only 4 organizations to receive funding in New York State, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) during this grant cycle.

Welcomed More than 20 New Companies and Helped Others Grow in the Innovation Center This Year

We continued to build our community by adding new companies to the Innovation Center and expanding our programming and amenities. New additions include Trove, Rel8ed, and Lender Logix, and we built out new space to accommodate rapid growth of ACV Auctions. There are 75 companies in the Innovation Center today.

Continued to Build Buffalo’s Innovation District

From doubling the number of electric vehicle charging stations across the BNMC, continuing to pursue the development of a campus-wide micro grid and opening a new parking garage to ensure easy access for our growing employee, patient and visitor population, to adding new companies and engaging mature companies, to building a diverse and inclusive community, to making sure people who work on live near have access to healthier foods and active living opportunities, our team has worked hard to create the environment to encourage the dynamic intersection of technology, health, invention and collaboration.

If you have ideas or would like to get involved, please reach out to us. Cheers to a healthy and successful 2019!

BNMC & UB Celebrate Computer Science & Engineering Month at AI & Machine Learning Summit

BNMC & UB Celebrate Computer Science & Engineering Month at AI & Machine Learning Summit

October is Computer Science & Engineering Month, and the BNMC celebrated on Friday, October 5th by hosting an AI & Machine Learning Summit with the University at Buffalo! More than 200 students, faculty, and industry professionals attended the event, which was held at UB Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences on the Medical Campus. BNMC’s CEO, Matt Enstice, welcomed the crowd and addressed the future of health care and medicine with the disruption of technology, followed by a keynote from Dr. Sargur Srihari, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the UB Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering.

The evening then led into a technical roundtable, comprised of Dr. David Doermann, SUNY Empire Innovation Professor & Program Manager for DARPA, Robert Ruocco, CIO for BlueCross BlueShield of WNY, and George Small, CTO at Moog, Inc. BNMC’s CIO, Sam Marrazzo, moderated the discussion, which focused on how AI and machine learning is currently affecting their organizations and visions for the future, as well as how they’re preparing for the next wave of technology. BNMC is proud to have hosted this event with our partners, and we look forward to continue building and supporting a culture of technology in Buffalo.

 

Healthy Victory: Highlighting our Collaborative Partnership with the Foundry, GroundWork Market Garden, African Heritage Food Co-Op, and YouthBuild of the Service Collaborative of WNY

Healthy Victory: Highlighting our Collaborative Partnership with the Foundry, GroundWork Market Garden, African Heritage Food Co-Op, and YouthBuild of the Service Collaborative of WNY

As year three of BNMC’s Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC) grant from New York State Department of Health comes to a close this September, the Healthy Communities team celebrates this past year’s successes.

Over the past year, our group has collectively worked on a project that not only increases access to healthy affordable foods for residents in East Buffalo, but does so through a community-driven wp-contentroach that builds neighborhood capacity and social capital.

Identifying the Problem

In BNMC’s work as part of the CHSC grant to increase healthy food access in communities throughout the city of Buffalo, it was wp-contentarent both food consumers and producers in East Buffalo face significant challenges. Residents experience a complex environment of societal, social, and health disparities that are especially amplified among people of color, all while residing in neighborhoods largely void of easily accessible grocery stores with affordable fresh foods. These conditions existed in the context of a food environment where some urban farmers struggled to connect with nearby neighbors, establish a farm stand, and find efficient models for transporting their harvests, on top of all the other challenges farmers already face.

Developing a Solution

BNMC identified a collaborative opportunity to merge both consumer and producer needs: The Farm Stand Project. The Farm Stand Project brings together GroundWork Market Garden, African Heritage Food Co-Op, The Foundry, YouthBuild, and BNMC to build mobile farm stands that bring locally grown fresh foods to residents who need it most.

By partnering with The Foundry and YouthBuild, the farm stands for GroundWork Market Garden and African Heritage Food Co-op were designed and built by community members who come from the neighborhoods the stands will serve. Every Friday morning from 9am-12pm from January 2018 through July 2018, the youth met at The Foundry and worked with professional carpenters and welders to build the farm stands. While the stands are currently undergoing finishing touches, the team aims to start using them as soon as possible for the current 2018 growing season.

The BNMC Healthy Communities Team has two more years (until September 2020) to continue its CHSC work supporting healthier communities throughout the city of Buffalo.

About The Foundry

The Foundry is a nonprofit small business incubator in East Buffalo that includes a makerspace, woodshop, metal shop, tech lab, textile lab, and also offers classes to the public. In addition to their daily operation, they also partner with the Service Collaborative of WNY’s YouthBuild program, which provides at-risk or low-income youth the opportunity to complete their education, earn their GED, and learn in-demand job skills while taking part in community revitalization projects.

BNMC Partners on Cleantech Incubator

BNMC Partners on Cleantech Incubator

The BNMC has partnered with LaunchNY on a new Emerging Cleantech Opportunity (ECO) incubator. Paul Tyno, who serves as BNMC’s strategic advisor for Energy Initiatives, has been named by Launch NY as Program Director for the incubator.

Working with Marnie LaVigne, Ph.D., Executive Director for ECO, and President and Chief Executive Officer of Launch NY, Mr. Tyno will bring his background in clean energy industry and demonstration projects to bear in ECO’s support for new cleantech companies as part of growing the region’s overall cleantech cluster. ECO was announced on May 30th as the sixth and latest clean energy incubator to receive a four-year award from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

The ECO incubator will provide individual mentoring, commercialization resources, technical assistance, business development support, and funding for seed and early stage clean energy companies who contribute to the goals of New York State’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), a strategy to build a clean, resilient, and more affordable energy system, while actively spurring energy innovation, bringing new investments into the State, and improving consumer choice. REV includes a mandate for 50 percent of the state’s power to come from renewable sources by 2030, in addition to having a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels.

Read more.

Work Hard, Play Hard: The 5 Best Things About Working on the BNMC

Work Hard, Play Hard

The 5 Best Things About Working on the BNMC

  1. Places To Eat: There are more locations to grab a delicious bite on Campus than ever before! With options ranging from the Homegrown Kitchen to Joe’s Deli to Twisted Pickle, you’ll never have to worry about packing a lunch again. Unless you want to brown bag it, that’s totally cool. Discover food on the BNMC.
  2. Tons of Events & Activities: The BNMC offers a robust lineup of free activities all year round to stay healthy, active, and involved in the community! We hold monthly, weekly, and special signature events around Campus for both employees and neighbors. From music to fitness to food – there’s something for everyone to enjoy here.
  3. Transportation Perks: The BNMC rewards employees for being environmentally conscious! No matter how you commute, the BNMC offers options to make your ride into work easier. There are 29 EV charging stations on Campus with the ability to charge 40 vehicles, 233 bike parking spaces, a free REDDY Bikeshare membership for employees, and several employers now offer subsidized transit passes – just to name a few transportation amenities! Visit GOBNMC.org to learn more about commuter incentives, including two free parking passes per month and a Guaranteed Ride Home via Lyft.
  4. Neighborhood Explorer Discount Program: 85+ businesses in the Allentown, Downtown, and Fruit Belt neighborhoods offer discounts to the 16,000+ employees and students on the Medical Campus. Discounts are redeemed with the BNMC Neighborhood Explorer Sticker, which employees can adhere to the back of their employer ID badge. For the full list of businesses and/or to sign-up for your sticker, click here.
  5. Beautiful Public Art: New buildings, enthusiastic staff, and exciting innovation are not the only things making the BNMC a beautiful place. Around Campus are vibrant murals, extraordinary sculptures, and brilliant installations that make it even more dynamic! Check out the public art on Campus.
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