Impact of 2017 Topcoder Open on Our Community

Impact of 2017 Topcoder Open on Our Community



This fall, our team was proud to host the Topcoder Open (TCO), a prestigious global programming, design, and data science competition, and welcome the world’s top technology talent – representing 29 different countries – to our Innovation Center on the BNMC.

Hosting Topcoder was a big win for Buffalo and the BNMC as it allowed us to showcase our community to some of the top technology talent in the world and bridge the connection between technology and the medical field. Topcoder moves us one step closer to aligning current technical capabilities and our educational networks with our vision of building an ecosystem that grows and fosters technological and economic development.

Topcoder, the leading workforce marketplace with 1.1 million developers, designers, and data scientists around the world, chose BNMC to host this year’s finals competition as the city of Buffalo has recently emerged as a center for innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in life sciences. TCO has been recognized as the world’s premier competition for the most talented technical minds; many of the world’s most respected tech companies keep a close watch on the competition and often hire top performers immediately. Past winners have gone on to successful careers at Google, Facebook, Blizzard Entertainment and Cisco.

At the Event

BNMC hosted the four-day competition, primarily in the Innovation Center, that culminated in Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul presenting a total of $60,000 to six top winners of the TCO. The multi-day UI Design Application Competition, sponsored by M&T Bank, challenged participants to develop an wp-content to connect eighth grade students at Westminster Community Charter School with adult mentors to help guide them through high school, college and life challenges after graduation.

We also held a number of complementary events surrounding TCO including school visits by the competitors and local tech talent; a video gaming competition attracting competitors from throughout New York State and Southern Ontario; and an Innovation Summit, sponsored by the BNMC and Topcoder, featuring leading experts from across North America who discussed issues including artificial intelligence (AI), the gig economy, and the future of digital along with other topics. BNMC also sponsored a local algorithm competition for college students and a STEM video challenge, powered by AT&T, awarding $1700 to nine local middle & high school students from the city of Buffalo and surrounding suburbs.

Why the BNMC?

The BNMC brings together design thinkers, social innovators, entrepreneurs, engineers, physicians, and researchers in Buffalo, New York. The Medical Campus is already home to disruptive new technologies and scientific advancements driven by thought-leaders in clinical care, research, education and business. Continuing to stay ahead of technology is critical to the future of medicine and to the further development of life sciences, materials informatics and biotechnology companies.

Thanks to the leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State, Buffalo is on its way to becoming a technology supercenter by building on the density of our resources.

WNY boasts more than a dozen colleges and universities, including the University at Buffalo, a premier research-intensive public university with a significant computer science and engineer department and an academic supercomputing facility of more than 170 Tflops of peak performance computer capacity; leading-edge hospitals and health care providers; world-renowned research institutions; and socially innovative private companies.

From world-class clinicians and researchers delivering outstanding health care and working toward medical breakthroughs, to innovative entrepreneurs bringing talent and business acumen, the Medical Campus is leading Buffalo’s economic renaissance.

Our team at BNMC is creating a dynamic Innovation District here in Buffalo by asking how we can better further the economic growth of our member institutions and partners, ignite urban revitalization, and build a strong thriving community.

The Innovation Center (powered by BNMC) is the largest business incubator in Buffalo, currently serving more than 100 companies, including 43North, the largest ($5.5M) business plan competition in the world, and the Z80 Labs technology accelerator.

News & Announcements

Competitors from China, Spain, Nigeria, Poland, Sri Lanka and Indonesia Take Home Top Honors in Topcoder Open

85 Competitors from 30 Countries to Participate in Topcoder Open (TCO) at Innovation Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus This Weekend

Topcoder Open (TCO) Design Competition to Develop App to Match Westminster Community Charter School Students with Mentors

Top Local and National Thought Leaders To Discuss Tech, Workforce and Innovation as Part of Topcoder Open

BNMC STEM Video Challenge Powered by AT&T

BNMC & TopCoder announce Algorithm Competition for Students & Professionals

Details for the Algorithm Competition can be found here

BNMC to Host Topcoder Open in October 2017

Recent Media on the Event

Topcoder winners from six countries awarded $60,000 – The Buffalo News

Topcoder Open culminates in Buffalo with the ‘March Madness of coding’ – The Buffalo News

Some of the world’s top coders are in Buffalo for international competition – WKBW Buffalo

Can a coding contest jumpstart Buffalo Niagara’s tiny tech sector? – The Buffalo News

Some of the world’s best computer programmers will come to Buffalo for Topcoder Finals – Buffalo Business First


Listen to our Talking Cities podcast featuring Topcoder CEO, Mike Morris.





Episode 47: Power of the Gig Economy

In this episode, Matt talks with Nic Perez, Chief Technologist at Booz Allen Hamilton, about his journey with crowdsourcing and how he’s seen technology develop over the years with companies like Netscape Communications, Charles Schwab and America Online; his passion for using technology for the greater good and the lives he’s impacted working as the web technical architect for American Red Cross; and his views on the the power of the gig economy and its ability to allow people to work on whatever they want, wherever they want.

ACV Auctions’ new 10,000-square-foot office can accommodate up to 130 employees

ACV Auctions’ new 10,000-square-foot office can accommodate up to 130 employees 

By  –  Reporter, Buffalo Business First

It’s been clear for awhile that ACV Auctions needed an office.

Turns out it didn’t need to leave the building.

The fast-moving technology startup, which offers a software platform for wholesale used car auctions, signed a lease Monday for a 10,000-square-foot office in the Thomas R. Beecher Jr. Innovation Center. The space will be renovated by building owner Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Inc. and the company expects to move in by spring.

Company CEO George Chamoun said the space will be a large open floor plan with conference rooms and a modern tech vibe – including no executive offices. Chamoun and other managers will sit among the rest of the company’s employees.

The office is expected to accommodate up to 130 employees, which means it’s likely to be full soon. Chamoun said ACV will keep its various smaller offices around the building for personnel overflow.

Overall, ACV Auctions currently has 160 full-time employees.

That’s a far cry from the company’s formation in 2014, when Joe Neiman, Dan Magnuszewski and Jack Greco announced they had co-founded the company. Since that time, the company has raised about $21 million in private capital in three separate fundraising rounds. It also won the $1 million grand prize in the 43North business competition in 2015.

Since it was founded, ACV’s home base has been the Z80 Labs technology incubator, which is on the Innovation Center’s ground floor. Its team now takes up a sizable chunk of that real estate, while engineers, sales teams and others have separate offices in smaller rooms around the building.

Chamoun said the move gives ACV its own branded space without the tremendous logistical hurdles of an extensive real estate search. Various local technology firms have taken years to find the right mix of price and parking combined with a modern technology vibe in downtown Buffalo.

The third floor office also has large windows looking out to the burgeoning medical campus, with views of new buildings like the University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Kaleida Health’s new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital.

“The landlords here have been great to us, and this allows us to continue doing our job right now,” Chamoun said. “It’s a great location and allows us to put around own brand around it.”

According to Chamoun, ACV’s job is to continue establishing its presence in new territories throughout the United States. ACV hires employees in each of its territories – including 33 territory managers – and then seeks to build a market of wholesale dealers and buyers, who can do real-time auctions on an wp-content instead of bringing vehicles to a physical auction.

The company has now extended south to Florida and has begun fielding requests from new territories. It is in the preliminary stages of considering a large new injection of funding in 2018 to accelerate growth.

Chamoun said ACV’s revenue is up 600 percent from 2016 and the company is hitting its financial milestones.

The company is also developing new products toward the goal of being a comprehensive solution in the wholesale automotive world.

“Buying and selling wholesale is all about trust,” Chamoun said. “We are building a product portfolio that’s built around trust for both buyers and sellers.”

Diversifying the Tech Industry

In this week’s #TalkingCities, hear from Holberton School cofounders Julien Barbier, Sylvain Kalache, and Julien Cyr, pioneers changing the way education is delivered. Just named one of Business Insiders 19 Hottest San Francisco Startups to Watch in 2018, Holberton is a project-based college alternative for the next generation of software engineers seeking to diversify the tech industry.

Matthew K. Enstice, BNMC President and CEO, Joins National Commission to Slash Transportation Energy Use by Half

Matthew K. Enstice, BNMC President and CEO, Joins National Commission to Slash Transportation Energy Use by Half

“50 by 50” Commission Includes Leaders from Across Private and Public Sectors

Buffalo, NY – October 26, 2017 – Matthew K. Enstice, President and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) will serve on a national commission launched today by the Alliance to Save Energy that will develop recommendations to reduce energy use in the U.S. transportation sector by 50 percent by 2050 while meeting future mobility needs. Enstice 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.

“With the growth of the Medical Campus and the continued renaissance in the City of Buffalo, we are acutely aware of the need to plan for transportation and energy issues so that we can take advantage of opportunities that emerging technologies present, and to plan for necessary changes to ensure efficiency, sustainability and to meet the needs of our community. I am delighted to share Buffalo’s perspective through this Alliance and to be part of developing sound strategies that will take us well into the future,” commented Enstice on his wp-contentointment.

As part of its role on the Medical Campus, BNMC focuses on comprehensive planning and implementation of transportation strategies to manage transportation, access, and parking issues on the 120-acre campus in downtown Buffalo. The non profit organization manages parking facilities, encourages alternative transportation modes, and has built infrastructure to encourage walking, biking and using public transit.  In addition, the organization also works closely with partner National Grid and others on energy issues to ensure efficient use of energy resources.

The Alliance Commission on U.S. Transportation Sector Efficiency (Commission) is comprised of leaders representing vehicle manufacturers, utilities, federal agencies, cities, environmental and consumer groups, infrastructure providers and public transit. The Commission is convened by the Alliance to Save Energy, the leading national coalition advocating for enhancing energy productivity – doing more with less energy.

Transportation represents roughly one-third of U.S. energy consumption. The sector is undergoing a transformational change – ranging from the increased viability of alternative fuels such as electrification to advanced vehicle technologies, automation and shared mobility – offering enormous opportunities to improve energy efficiency. Improvements in efficiency will create jobs, improve energy security, boost competitiveness, save businesses and consumers money, and reduce emissions.

The Commission will work through six Technical Committees (Light-Duty Vehicles; Non-Road Vehicles; Heavy-Duty and Freight Vehicles; Enabling Infrastructure; Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Shared Mobility and Automation; and Outreach and Implementation) to develop the regulatory, policy and investment pathways to achieve the “50×50” goal. Following an outside peer-review process, the Commission will publish a final report, and engage local, state, and national officials, key stakeholder groups and the public to act on the recommendations.

Kateri Callahan, President, Alliance to Save Energy, said: “Transportation in the United States is changing rapidly and it presents an enormous opportunity to improve mobility while at the same time saving energy. We’re bringing together experts from across this sector because we need a comprehensive wp-contentroach to maximize the energy efficiency gains. The response to our invitations has been overwhelming and we’re eager to see this group put their heads together.”

More information about the Commission, including the full list of commissioners, is available at:

About the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc.              

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC) is a self-sustaining social enterprise successfully combining innovation, job creation, and urban revitalization. It serves as the umbrella organization of the anchor institutions that make up the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus located within the 120-acre campus bordering Allentown, the Fruit Belt and Downtown. The BNMC Inc. fosters conversation and collaboration among its member institutions, its partners and the community to address critical issues impacting them, including entrepreneurship, energy, access and transportation, workforce and procurement, neighborhoods, and healthy communities, with the goal of increasing economic development and building a strong community. www.bnmc-old.local.

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Clean Energy Microgrids for Hospitals Make Electricity More Reliable

Clean Energy Microgrids for Hospitals Make Electricity More Reliable

November 6, 2017 By

Microgrid Knowledge

This is the second post in a Microgrid Knowledge series and focuses on why clean energy microgrids for health care and hospitals make sense.

In most businesses, costs are a paramount concern. Hospitals are not most businesses.

At a hospital, loss of electricity can lead to loss of life. So for hospitals, reliable electricity has a very high value. That makes hospitals prime candidates for the installation of clean energy microgrids.

That was brought home in 2013 after the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon. Area hospitals were pushed to their limits, and that changed the perspective of many administrators. One area hospital was contemplating the installation of a CHP plant as part of a new facility. Typically, the decision to move forward with such a project would be heavily weighted on the economic benefit. But after the attack, this particular hospital “saw things in a whole different light,” says Michael Bakas, senior vice president at Ameresco. Economics were no longer the primary driving force. Instead, the first concern was the ability to act as a last line of def ense for the city in a crisis. The hospital could not lose its power; it had to be able to “island” or operate independently from the surrounding grid should disaster strike.

Unfortunately, that is a lesson that has been driven home several times in recent years—whether it is the Boston terrorist attack, the record flooding in Houston from Hurricane Harvey, the devastation in Florida from Hurricane Irma, the destruction of Puerto Rico’s grid from Hurricane Maria, or the near shut-down of New York City from Hurricane Sandy. Hospital administrators have had ample chance to gain firsthand experience of the importance of uninterrupted electrical service.

Hospitals are one of society’s pillar organizations turning to clean energy #microgridsCLICK TO TWEET

Existing safety regulations already require hospitals to have some form of backup generation, such as diesel generators. But when Sandy slammed into New York City in 2012, backup generators and other electrical systems failed at Bellevue Hospital, New York University’s Langone Medical Center, and at Coney Island Hospital, resulting in the evacuation of hundreds of patients during the storm. More recently, Hurricane Maria left hospitals in Puerto Rico unable to operate on patients, and undertake other critical procedures, because generators ran out of diesel fuel.

Backup generators may fulfill regulatory requirements, but they do not always perform when they are needed. In the 2003 Northeast blackout, half of New York City’s 58 hospitals suffered failures in their back-up power generators, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Part of the problem is that backup generators sit idle most of the time. Despite regular testing, they can fail when needed. Hospital microgrids, on the other hand, include some form of generation that operates on a regular basis, avoiding surprises when an emergency does hit.

Heat and power from one fuel

Hospitals that use a lot of steam, hot water, air conditioning and heat often benefit from CHP, which allows them to get two forms of energy from one clean fuel. CHP plants use the waste heat created in power generation, a byproduct typically discarded. This makes CHP a highly efficient form of energy.

Those were among the motivations when the New York State Research and Development Authority instituted the NY Prize, a program to aid the implementation of microgrids for critical facilities in the state. More than half of the 11 communities that were finalists in the $40 million program included hospitals in their projects.

The Town of Huntington on Long Island, one of the award recipients, is building a microgrid at Huntington Hospital with a 2.8-MW fuel cell and a battery storage facility that will enable the microgrid to island from the grid. The Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus, another NY Prize recipient, is strengthening its existing backup generators with a new CHP system, solar panels and battery storage to enable islanding.

Environmental and monetary benefits of hospital microgrids

clean energy microgrids

Because of their software intelligence, microgrids are able to manage a hospital’s energy resources, so that the cleanest generation is used first.

While resilience and reliability may be compelling reasons, they are not the only motivation behind hospitals’ adoption of clean energy microgrids. According to a 2013 survey conducted by Johnson & Johnson, nearly 90 percent of hospitals reported that they were incorporating sustainability into their planning process. Because of their software intelligence, microgrids are able to manage a hospital’s energy resources, so that the cleanest generation is used first.

Being a good citizen is part of the rationale, but the falling prices for solar panels and battery storage makes choosing a microgrid a wise economic decision, as well.

That is particularly true as hospitals face growing budgetary concerns. Hospitals are heavy energy users, making them particularly vulnerable to rising energy costs. Even though hospitals account for less than 1 percent of all U.S. commercial buildings, they account for 5.5 percent of commercial building energy usage.

In addition to providing resiliency and reliability, an intelligent hospital microgrid can monitor grid electricity prices throughout the day and switch to its own lower cost energy when grid prices spike. By shaving the top off those energy peaks, a hospital can also lower its demand charges because those charges are based on peak usage.

Taking the first step in installing a microgrid could impose a hefty financial burden on a cash strwp-contented hospital, but the rising popularity of microgrids has spurred financial innovations that can ease that burden.

By signing a power purchase agreement with a microgrid developer, for instance, a hospital pays only for the energy it uses from the microgrid and shares any savings while the developer handles installation and operation and maintenance.

Hospitals are just one of society’s pillar organizations turning to clean energy microgrids. Higher education is another. We explain why in the next post.

Over the next few weeks, the Microgrid Knowledge series on clean energy microgrids will cover the following topics:

  • Why Choose a Clean Energy Microgrid?

  • Clean Energy Microgrids for Colleges and Universities

  • Clean Energy Microgrids for the Military

  • Clean Energy Microgrids for the Commercial and Industrial Sector

  • Parris Island Microgrid Case Study

Download the full report, “The Rise of Clean Energy Microgrids: Why microgrids make sense for hospitals, higher education, military & government and businesses,”  downloadable free of charge courtesy of Ameresco.

Games Create Change

Matt talks with Asi Burak, CEO of Power Play NYC, about the growing popularity of e-sports over traditional sports among millennials and women; Asi’s role as the producer for the largest industry-facing gaming festival in NYC, the Games for Change Festival and how games impact education, healthcare, research, civics, and social issues;  and new research on neurogaming and the ways in which it can improve health, fitness and cognitive skills.

The Future of Medicine Book Inspired by the Jacobs Institute

Western New York may seem an unlikely place to invent the future of medicine. But in fact, Western New York—and the many communities like us around the country—are where the real battle over the future will take place.

While we are not home to the biggest pharmaceutical companies, nor are we the home of famous biotech and healthcare unicorns, we are where their creations are inevitably headed. Silicon Valley may be their pilot market, but places like Western New York are their proving ground. As you’ll see in Trickle-Up Innovation (p. 28), breakthroughs can—and, increasingly, will—hwp-contenten everywhere. But no matter where an innovation originates, until it works on Main Street, under our constraints, the future of medicine hasn’t really arrived.

Our challenges in Western New York are typical of so many other places around the country. With 2 million people, we are plenty big—so we’re no small challenge. Few in our community have the wealth reserves to pay for super-premium care; the vast majority have to accept what their insurance alone can cover. The health of our population shows the wear and tear of long winters, lives spent working on our feet and a steady diet of hearty but not heart-healthy comfort food. We’re aging, and presenting the typical signs that go hand in hand with aging—higher rates of stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s and heart disease.

L. Nelson “Nick” Hopkins, MD, FACS Founder & Chief Scientific Officer The Jacobs Institute

Those of us who take care of this com- munity feel deeply invested. We care not just for our patients, but for the greater community and the healthcare system itself, across all providers. We’ve built the Jacobs Institute on the premise that fostering innovation is the most important thing we can do to ensure improved quality of care for current and future generations. We commissioned this report to rally and prepare local medical communities for the impending future. Our hope is that this report brings the stakeholders in our community and yours to the table to form long-term strategic innovation plans.

The report accurately describes the current state of affairs in major cities, and it wp-contentlies here. Providers are swamped with new mandated reporting requirements and are competing at too many levels, from primary care through specializations, rather than focusing on what they do best in the market, and getting ever better and more efficient at it. Our brands lack clarity, so patients feel confused and uninformed. All this accomplishes is slowly leaking market share to outsiders. Today, it’s patients choosing to get care down in Pittsburgh—or at Walmart. Soon, as the report warns, it’ll be national and global health brands reaching out to our patient population with virtual care. The same way Amazon has run roughshod over retailers’ business models, it—or Google, or Apple—could suddenly turn healthcare on its head by digitizing medicine at scale.

As mighty a challenge as it was to gaze into the years ahead and envision med- icine’s future, the even harder work will be done here, locally. It’s somewhat like solving a Rubik’s Cube—you understand what it’s supposed to get to, but it’s a puzzle to get there, one twist at a time. As you read this report, we encourage you to ponder how the future depicted creates new opportunities and might shape our strategic development plans for the years ahead.

Download the Report

Episode 44: Power Is With The States

Talking Cities Episode 44: Power is with the States

Matt talks with New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul about how humble beginnings with her very socially-conscious family pulled her toward public service at a very young age; her start in politics working with legendary Buffalonian Tim Russert and longtime Senator of New York Daniel Patrick Moynahan; her enthusiasm around Buffalo’s burgeoning tech scene as seen on the BNMC; and her pride in her role to support Governor Cuomo’s laser focus on bringing back upstate New York by turning upside the typical economic development model.

Lt. Gov. Hochul has been an elected official at the town, county, state, and federal levels, providing her with an extraordinarily unique perspective of how government can truly work for the people. She view her ability to find common issues to “cross the aisle” as a hallmark of her success in Washington. She notes the importance of collaboration among women of different parties to enact great positive change.

She is chairing the NYS Women’s Suffrage Commission and speaks passionately about encouraging everyone, especially women, to step up and take risks to do great things.

Listen now!


BNMC Partners with Lyft

The BNMC is pleased to announce our partnership with Lyft to provide mobility solutions for employees who work on the Medical Campus, including services such as our guaranteed ride home program for employees using alternative transportation. Haven’t used Lyft before? Try it for free with promo code BNMC2017.
The code is only valid for new users and is worth one free ride, up to $10. The coupon will expire 21 days after it’s added to a Lyft account.

While we’re on promo codes, the Reddy Bike fleet will be downsizing for the winter in the next couple of weeks, so if you haven’t had a chance to sign up for your annual pass, there’s still time! Use promo code GOBNMC2017 for a free membership.

Curiosity Driven Innovation

Matt talks with Sam Marrazzo, the BNMC’s new Chief Innovation Officer. Sam talks about why he sees himself as a connector of technology, people, and places. He also touches on how being stationed on the U.S.S. Independence kicked off his career in technology; the importance of strong university alignment to drive innovation within cities; his longtime partnership with Topcoder; and why we should all “run to math”.

Innovation Summit at TCO17

The Innovation Summit on Tuesday, October 24th will bring together business and thought leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs from across the country, and the event is set against the backdrop of the Topcoder Open Finals — the ultimate programming and design tournament for elite members of the Topcoder Community.
You’ll get to witness live, on-stage competition between top designers, developers, and data scientists, and speakers from organizations such as M&T Bank, Illuminare Group, and Visionware Solutions will lead discussions on topics including:

  • Digital transformation and customer experience
  • Agile and the art of mindfulness
  • Blockchain, AI, and the next wave of digital
  • Finding the right tech talent in the gig economy
  • Changing work styles for millennials and remote teams

Get all the details here and reserve your seat here

BNMC Launches Startup School

Back by popular demand, our Startup School & Creativity Series are back this fall in LEARN at the Innovation Center! All sessions are free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Startup School | 12-1:30pm

September 27
Protecting Intellectual Property
Simpson & Simpson, PLLC

October 10
Benefits of Being Part of the Western New York Incubator Network
WNY Incubator Network (WIN)

November 8
Crowdfunding a Startup

November 9
User Experience & Design Thinking
Helm UX

November 29
Perfecting Your Pitch

December 5
From Concept to Prototype
Product Logic

December 6
Social Media Marketing
U.S. Small Business Administration

December 12
Benefits of START-UP NY Program

Creativity Series with Dr. Roger Firestien | 8:30-11am

October 11
How to be Deliberately Creative

October 26
Solve the Right Problem

November 8
Generate Totally Radical Ideas

November 21
Creating Your Future

BNMC STEM Video Challenge Powered by AT&T

STEM Video Challenge for Students in grades 5 – 12!

How will advances in technology lead to a better future for Western New York?

This video challenge, powered by AT&T, is an opportunity for students in grades 5-12 to create a video to show how they predict technology will lead to a better future for Western New Yorkers. It can be anything you can imagine, as long as it’s improving the future of our community. Utilize technology (mobile devices, drones, animation, special effects) to make your video as impactful as possible – just make sure it’s wp-contentropriate for all ages and less than 60 seconds long.

Ideas include technology that:

  • Improves the health of our community;
  • Advances our school systems;
  • Provides better connectivity among neighbors;
  • Improves transportation options;
  • Any technology advancements that you think will create a better Western New York.


  • Must be in grades 5-12 and under 18 years of age
  • Middle school contest is for students in grades 5-8
  • High school contest is for students in grades 9 – 12
  • Entries accepted in both the individual and group categories
  • Must be a resident of Erie & Niagara County


  • September 11, 2017 – Challenge Opens
  • October 6, 2017 – Deadline for video submission
  • October 17, 2017 – Finalists announced
  • October 24, 2017 – winners announced


  • Individual winners in middle & high school (1st, 2nd & 3rd places)
  • Group winners in middle and high school (1st, 2nd & 3rd places)
  • Cash prizes of up to $500 for all finalists.

Competition Guidelines:

There will be two categories of video competition: Individual and Group for both middle & high school

  • There is no limit to the number of members of a group in the group video category, however all participants must be supervised by their school teacher, principal, or club leader
  • Video should be wp-contentrox. 45 seconds in length, no more than 60.  Any video exceeding 60 seconds will be disqualified.
  • Students should use the video to showcase their creativity.  There are no restrictions on video content however video should not contain any nudity, vulgarity, or other offensive language or images.

Criteria for Judging

  • The video must explore how technology advancements will improve the Western New York in the future. The video must demonstrate an idea and its impact. For example, the video may look at how autonomous vehicles may reduce the need for the number of parking spaces currently available in the city, and offer ideas for what that space could be used for instead.
  • Videos will be evaluated based on the following areas:
    • Creativity
    • Originality
    • Technical skills used to create & edit video (meaning, how difficult was it to make)
    • Clear message that sticks to the theme
  • Videos will be judged by a panel of judges to be announced soon.
  • Email accompanying the video should include:
    • Student’s name/s
    • Parent or legal guardian names
    • Supervising teacher/adult name
    • School name and contact information including address, phone number and email address
    • Grade level of student/s
    • Each entry must be the original work of the student(s).

By submitting a video, each student confirms that he/she has received all relevant and wp-contentropriate permissions from all individuals who wp-contentear in the video, and their parent/ guardian, and that he/she has obtained all necessary permissions to use all material such as images, text, voice, music, and any other content.

Video Submission Requirements:

Complete the submission form and upload your video. This wp-contentlication is required for all submissions. Please fill out the form with a parent, legal guardian or school representative – they will need to accept the terms and conditions.

  • Must be in grades 5-12 and under 18 years of age.
  • Open to youth in grades 5-12 in Erie or Niagara Counties.
  • Middle School contest is students in grades 5-8; High School contest for students in grades 9-12
  • Entries accepted in both individual and group categories

The deadline for submissions is on or before October 6, 2017

Finalists will be announced October 17, 2017 and winners will be announced on October 24th at the TCO Finals at the BNMC. 

See press release to learn more!


Some of world’s best computer programmers will come to Buffalo for Topcoder finals

Some of world’s best computer programmers will come to Buffalo for Topcoder finals

Some of the world’s top technologists will get to see what Buffalo has to offer during a four-day competition in October.

The Topcoder Open 2017 will be held at the Thomas R. Beecher Jr. Innovation Center from Oct. 20 to 24, featuring more than 85 competitors from 25 countries facing off in areas such as data science, programming and design.

Topcoder is a San Francisco-based company that hosts biweekly competitions that lead to regional matches and ultimately to an annual finale, which is what will be held this year in Buffalo.

Buffalo Medical Campus Inc. officials said Topcoder officials were attracted to the region’s technology assets, including the biomedical Jacobs Institute, National Grid ‘microgrid’ project on the medical campus and University at Buffalo Center for Computational Research.

“A lot of the big industries in Buffalo are going to need designers, software engineers and coders to make sure they’re continuing to grow and prosper,” said Matt Enstice, president and CEO of BNMC Inc. “This conference will help put Buffalo on the map and show ex-pats that we’re doing this stuff in Buffalo too, so why don’t you come on back.”

The Topcoder conference was recruited to Buffalo with the help of Sam Marrazzo, chief information officer at Superior Talent Resources Inc. and a longtime Topcoder participant. He said the Topcoder finale prizes are prestigious ones – and often lead to exciting job offers – so the field converging on Buffalo will be looking to win.

That level of competition will create a definite buzz in the Buffalo tech community, Marrazzo said.

“This is something that needs to hwp-contenten for Buffalo to become known as a technology hub,” he said.

Sean Heidinger, who is the curator of the d!g space that will be transformed for the event, traveled to China to observe one of the regional Topcodercompetitions. He said there will be a series of ancillary events, including an Oct. 24 forum led by women in the Buffalo technology world and visits from some of the competitors to technology programs in local high schools.

“I’m anticipating a world-class event,” Heidinger said. “The campus is going to be ready and we’re very excited.”

Dan Miner covers startups, education, manufacturing and public companies.

Can a coding contest jumpstart Buffalo Niagara’s tiny tech sector?

Can a coding contest jumpstart Buffalo Niagara’s tiny tech sector?

By  | Published  | Updated 

There’s no disputing that the Buffalo Niagara region isn’t Silicon Valley.

It’s not even close.

But officials at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus are hoping to shine a spotlight on the region’s undersized tech sector and try to give it a boost by hosting a global contest for the technology industry’s top developers, designers and data scientists in October.

The Topcoder contest will bring more than 85 of the world’s top technology development and design experts to Buffalo for the contest, but the competition also will attract attention from top technology companies, which often view the annual event as a way to identify talent within the coding industry.

“This is very prestigious within the coding community,” said Sean Heidinger, the manager of the dig co-working space at the Innovation Center on the Medical Campus. “It’s similar to March Madness in the programming world.”

Local organizers, however, hope the contest will be much more than that, providing an opportunity for the region to highlight its technology assets, ranging from the University at Buffalo supercomputer to the fast-growing medical campus and the region’s significant banking and financial services sector.

“This could be a great opportunity,” said Matt Enstice, the Medical Campus’ president and CEO.

“We have a lot of great software engineers and coders engaged with what we’re doing on the Medical Campus,” Enstice said.

The contest also will allow the region to focus attention on UB’s Center for Computational Research and the supercomputer capabilities at UB, along with the Jacobs Institute, a medical innovation center located on the Medical Campus, he said.

“We want people to see that there is a lot of opportunity in Buffalo,” Enstice said. “We want more of these software engineers and coders to be living in Buffalo.”

At the moment, the region’s technology sector is undersized by national standards, which means the Buffalo Niagara region is missing out on much of the impact the fast-growing sector is having on the economy in other places, especially in hot spots like Silicon Valley in California and cities like Austin, Texas.

The information sector, which includes some but by no means all activity within technology professions, barely grew in the Buffalo Niagara region from 2009 to 2015 – a time when the overall economy here expanded by more than 6 percent, according to federal economic data.

The amount of personal income generated by the information sector actually declined by 1 percent during that time, even though jobs within that sector pay better than the average job in the Buffalo Niagara region. The average compensation per job in the Buffalo Niagara region rose by 15 percent during that time.

Organizers are planning to hold a series of related events during the coding competition, which will be held at the Medical Center’s innovation center from Oct. 20-24. Those events will include contests and meetings with local students to encourage them to pursue studies in the coveted science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields as well as an “innovation summit” with local and visiting technology leaders at the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute.

The contest, which was held last year in Washington, D.C., will bring together winners of regional competitions held in seven cities, such as Austin and Pittsburgh, as well as Beijing and St. Petersburg, Russia.

While the contest could be overshadowed in bigger cities, such as Washington, organizers hope that bringing it to Buffalo will shine a brighter spotlight on it locally.

“It’s going to be a big fish in a small pond,” said Sam Marrazzo, the chief information officer at Amherst employment agency Superior Talent Resources, who came up with the idea of trying to bring the contest to Buffalo.

Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to Host Topcoder Open 2017 in October

Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to Host Topcoder Open 2017 in October

International Crowdsourcing Competition Attracts World’s Most Advanced Designers, Developers and Data Scientists and Companies Wanting to Recruit Them


Buffalo, N.Y., August 23, 2017 – The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) announced today that it will be the host of the 2017 Topcoder Open (TCO), the prestigious programming, design, and data science competition that attracts some of the world’s most talented design and technology experts. The event, which was launched in 2001, will take place at dig, the coworking space at BNMC’s Innovation Center October 20-24. Topcoder, the leading workforce marketplace with 1.1 million developers, designers, and data scientists around the world, chose BNMC to host this year’s competition as the city of Buffalo has recently emerged as a center for innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in life sciences.

The World’s Premier Crowdsourcing Competition

Topcoder Open has been recognized as the world’s premier competition for the most talented technical minds; many of the world’s most respected tech companies keep a close watch on the competition and often hire top performers immediately. Past winners have gone on to successful careers at Google, Facebook, Blizzard Entertainment and Cisco.

Topcoder Community members from around the world compete online and accumulate points in Development and Design Tracks, and in online elimination-style rounds for the Data Science tracks. Those that qualify to compete in the TCO finals earn prizes and an all-expenses-paid trip to Buffalo to compete live, network, and meet other competitors in person. More than 85 participants from 25 countries are expected to travel to Buffalo to compete.

In addition to the main competition, Topcoder and BNMC are hosting a series of complementary events, including a student video competition, a STEM career event with local high schools, and others to be announced.

Buffalo Hosts Both TCO and Leading-Edge Technology Innovation

Buffalo was chosen as the 2017 TCO site due to its leading-edge hospitals and health care providers, world-renowned research and banking institutions, and socially innovative private companies as well as its concentration of colleges and universities, most notably the University at Buffalo, with its significant computer science and engineering department and one of the world’s leading academic supercomputing center. Organizers also cited BNMC’s focus on disruptive new technologies and scientific advancements driven by thought-leaders in clinical care, research, education and business.

Matt Enstice, President and CEO of BNMC commented, “We continue to see the intersection of technology and health care and we know it is critical to the future of medicine and to the further development of life sciences, materials informatics and biotechnology companies to stay ahead of new advances. We are actively pursuing new ways to develop and promote the advancement of technology on the Medical Campus and coding is central to this focus. We look forward to hosting this dynamic event and collaborating with the TCO team in the future.”

Howard Zemsky, President, CEO & Commissioner of Empire State Development  said, “Buffalo’s selection as host to a global coding competition tells the world that New York State is home to top tech companies and talent, and to respected higher educational institutions that prepare graduates for competitive, well-paying jobs in the tech industry.”

About Topcoder and the Topcoder Open

Topcoder is a workforce marketplace with 1.1 million developers, designers, and data scientists around the world. For more than a decade Topcoder has helped customers ranging from startups to Fortune100 companies accelerate innovation, solve challenging problems, and tap into hard to find skills. Enterprises distribute work to our global network through the Topcoder Marketplace, where individuals with the right skills participate in competitions to win money, build skills, and earn recognition. Topcoder Open is the flagship event of the community. The best performers qualify to enter the Topcoder Open finals through acculumating points on the platform and in regional competitions around the world. Previous finals have been held in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. Learn more at

About the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc.           

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC) is a self-sustaining social enterprise successfully combining innovation, job creation, and urban revitalization. It serves as the umbrella organization of the anchor institutions that make up the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus located within the 120-acre campus bordering Allentown, the Fruit Belt and Downtown. The BNMC Inc. fosters conversation and collaboration among its member institutions, its partners and the community to address critical issues impacting them, including entrepreneurship, energy, access and transportation, workforce and procurement, neighborhoods, and healthy communities, with the goal of increasing economic development and building a strong community. www.bnmc-old.local.


For more information, contact:

Susan Kirkpatrick, BNMC, skirkpatrick@bnmc-old.local






Buffalo rated #2 for ‘booming’ start-up environment

Buffalo rated #2 for ‘booming’ start-up environment

  JUL 10, 2017


Buffalo is becoming a hotbed for business entrepreneurs. The city is ranked number two on Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of booming communities for start-ups.

On a list of eight cities, Buffalo trailed only behind San Diego, receiving high marks for “a healthy environment of investment and innovation.” The magazine gives credit to Buffalo’s revitalization and investments in existing infrastructure for financial services, biotech, sports science and education, as well as “great incubators” like 43North – the group that organizes an annual business competition.

43North Director of Marketing Peter Burakowski said Buffalo should celebrate this achievement.

“Our community should be proud of the momentum we’re having right now; which is greater than we have seen in more than a generation. Now is the time to keep the foot on the pedal, and keep our entrepreneurial ecosystem heading in the right direction.”

Being on Entrepreneur’s list could bring numerous business opportunities to Buffalo. Burakowski agrees that the city has momentum when it comes to attracting start-ups and luring companies that have room to grow.

43 North Director of Marketing Peter Burakowski

“It’s important to shape perceptions of Buffalo as a city on the rise for entrepreneurship. That helps us attract more great entrepreneurs to our community. That also helps us get on the radar of investors who can refer good companies to our community, but also put their money into startups that are settling their roots here in Western New York,” said Burakowski.

The city is developing from its strengths and its long history in advanced manufacturing. Many of the city’s assets, such as the growing medical campus, allow for the development of biomedical start-ups. Buffalo can attract millennials who are looking to get involved in certain start-up businesses.

“This is really looking at the jobs of tomorrow,” Burakowski said. “We want to keep millennials here, keep the next generation that follows here, and attract young talent here. We want to start now, and bring the jobs of the future here to Buffalo.”

Many people in the city – mainly the large college population – have a great deal of opportunities to get in on the ground floor of new companies. Burakowski hopes many of the start-up businesses that are beginning in Buffalo could blossom into the large employers of tomorrow.

“Whether it’s helping SWAT teams be able to see a live shooter situation with 360 degree video, or trying to develop a target cancer therapy so people can fight cancer with less side-effects, these are big ideas with brilliant people working on them.”

Rounding out the list of eight are Richmond, VA; Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC; New Orleans, LA; Cincinnati, OH; Nashville, TN; and Baltimore, MD.

BNMC Launches New Innovation Center Website

We are excited to announce the new Innovation Center website, a resource for companies and entrepreneurs looking to grow their business alongside startups, social impact organizations, tech innovators, and major health care, research & education institutions all co-located on the Medical Campus.
The Medical Campus is already home to disruptive new technologies and scientific advancements driven by thought leaders in clinical care, research, education and business. Learn more about how to access Campus-wide resources, including workspace, networking events, programming, and more on our site. Feedback is welcome! We look forward to connecting with you.

Visitors from the Silicon Desert

Visitors from the Silicon Desert

Earlier this week, we welcomed 21 health care, research, education, and business leaders from Phoenix for a benchmarking visit led by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. They are considering creating an organization like the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. to help facilitate conversation and collaboration among their region’s leading entities. As they talked about their plans with other cities around the country, they were pointed toward Buffalo & the BNMC, and we were more than hwp-contenty to host the group to share what we’ve learned. This trip was a follow-up from last year’s benchmarking visit to the Texas Medical Center in Houston.

While on the Medical Campus, they spent time with BNMC CEO Matt Enstice, founding Board Chair, Tom Beecher, former Mayor Tony Masiello, and former Oishei Foundation President Tom Baker for frank discussions about the challenges and opportunities of building the Medical Campus in Buffalo, beginning from its inception 15+ years ago. They visited dig & the Innovation Center and learned about our efforts across the Campus for job creation and technology disruption. They took a health and wellness-focused exterior Campus tour to learn more about our active placemaking efforts.

The group was very interested in tangible examples of the major institutions on the Medical Campus collaborating, so a visit to UB’s Clinical and Translational and Research Center and Kaleida Health’s Gates Vascular Institute was a must. They heard from Jacobs Institute founder, Dr. Nick Hopkins, and CEO, Bill Maggio, about its role as a nexus between clinical care and research, facilitating connections between physicians, students, engineers, entrepreneurs and industry all under one roof, and toured a number of spaces in the building, including the Toshiba Stroke Center led by Dr. Tim Murphy from the University at Buffalo. They heard from Dr. Ed Lattman at Hauptman-Woodward Institute about its role in the BioXFel grant and connections to consortium member Arizona State University.  Mayor Byron Brown, Invest Buffalo Niagara President Tom Kucharski, and Buffalo Niagara Partnership President Dottie Gallagher-Cohen also shared their perspective with the group as collaborative economic development officials working with the BNMC organization and our member institutions.

While the group spent most of their trip listening to and asking questions of our partners, they did find some time to enjoy more of the cultural attributes in Buffalo Niagara! Many were thrilled at our weather, as it was 120 degrees when they left Phoenix, and were hwp-contenty just to walk and run comfortably outside.  We had a lovely dinner with their delegation and leaders from our community at the Darwin Martin House, a nice tie as the Phoenix region is home to Taliesin West, another Frank Lloyd Wright home.

We have learned so much from other communities, we are always hwp-contenty to give back and spend time with those looking to do something similar.  We are hosting a delegation from Baton Rouge later this summer and look forward to sharing our experience with them, as well.

Read more about the trip in the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce blog and in this article by Invest Buffalo Niagara.


How New York Is Building the Renewable Energy Grid of the Future

How New York Is Building the Renewable Energy Grid of the Future

This is a story of ripping up old incentives that encouraged selling as much electricity as possible, then unleashing the entrepreneurs.


MAY 25, 2017

The energy start-up Opus One is helping New York understand how power from distributed resources interact with traditional power flows. Credit: Opus One

New York State is making a $5 billion bet that by making its power cleaner, it can become a magnet for the clean energy jobs of the future.

Its efforts stand out among the many states racing to integrate more renewables into their power grids—such as Massachusetts, Hawaii and California—not necessarily for the technology but because of what’s hwp-contentening behind the scenes: New York has launched a Herculean effort to turn around an antiquated system that has deterred innovation for generations by rewarding utilities for selling more electricity.

To get utilities to embrace a changing electricity system, the state is establishing ways for the companies to be reimbursed for some of the savings from energy efficiency programs that are reducing demand for their services. It also is allowing them to reap more return on their investments in equipment needed to bring more renewable energy into the grid. And it is investing in entrepreneurs who are inventing the technology to make it all work.

The state is so gung-ho that its rules require utilities to come up with demonstration projects that test out a new business model, in partnership with at least one private sector company.

The result, say the state’s regulators, is that New York is already attracting hundreds of innovative companies of all stripes. The plum opportunities are not only in installing wind turbines and solar panels, which are generating new employment opportunities across the country, they are also in emerging technologies related to smart grid management and storage. These jobs are largely invisible to the public and, in some cases, didn’t even exist a few years ago.

While the state hasn’t yet projected overall how many jobs are in the new energy economy, they have released enticing tidbits. In January, the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) released a report projecting that by 2030, New York’s energy storage industry could realize annual revenues between $5.6 billion and $8.7 billion, with total job growth between 17,300 and 26,800 employees. Jobs in the energy storage industry already grew by 30 percent between 2012 and 2015 to 3,600.

“We are now the leading market for energy storage companies,” boasts John Rhodes, president and CEO of NYSERDA, pointing to companies like NOHMs Technologies in Rochester and BessTech in Troy. “And probably microgrid technology as well.”

One of the companies that has been drawn to New York’s new markets is Opus One Solutions. New York’s vision relies on distributed, independent power operations that ramp up and down with the intermittent sunshine and wind, as well as with the fits and starts of demand for power. Opus One has software that can understand how those waves of power from distributed resources interact with traditional power flows. Just as important, its software can make real-time price estimates for the value of those local power sources.

“Why New York?” asks Alison Smith, the start-up’s director of markets, gazing out at the Manhattan skyline from a conference room at the Urban Future Lab, a state-sponsored incubator for start-ups.

“It is the most forward-thinking state in North America in considering how we build the critical elements of a distributed grid,” she answers.

Incubating Clean Energy Innovation

Three years ago, New York announced that it would spend $5.3 billion toward meeting its goal of having 50 percent of its electricity come from renewable sources by 2030. (The state only had 24 percent renewable generation in state this year.) Mandates related to these standards have resulted in significant additions of wind and solar to the grid—but that is just the most readily visible part of the changes New York is undergoing.

According to Richard Kauffman, the state’s chairman of energy and finance, it didn’t take long to figure out that “New York cannot cost effectively make this transition just by bolting wind and solar onto the grid of Westinghouse and Tesla,” referring to two of the original creators of the grid, George Westinghouse and Nicola Tesla. Instead, New York wants a new “hybrid grid” that integrates intermittent and distributed resources like wind or solar or microgrids.

At the core of the problem to getting that grid was a stodgy, legacy financial model for utilities that didn’t support innovation. Utilities have historically been rewarded with 9 percent rate increases when they add capital expenditure for transmission and distribution to new central power stations, which in New York are historically gas and coal with some nuclear and hydro. The result is that New York has added so much base load capacity to meet peak demand (largely in these traditional forms of energy generation) that on an average day the state uses just 54 percent of generation capacity.

“Technology is not what is holding us back,” said Kauffman. “Could I tomorrow install smart meters in every home and save energy? Absolutely. But until now, there has been absolutely no financial incentive to do this.”

So, New York began changing regulations to reward utilities for integrating new business models that support advances like battery storage that are needed to scale up wind and solar. It has mandated the demonstration projects. Seventeen are already up and running and another dozen or so are in the works for wp-contentroval.

It is also offering other stimulants such as grants and assistance through incubators like the Urban Future Lab.

Every few weeks, the state announces another competition. In February, it gave $15 million to develop renewable heating and cooling technology. In March it gave $11 million in grants to winners of a microgrid contest. In April it made $15.5 million available to support the most promising energy storage projects.

New York is distributing this money with the idea of leveraging as much from the private market as possible. Since 2009, NYSERDA says, it has invested $14 million in six clean energy incubators where clean tech start-ups get a boost by being connected to utility officials and investors. The return to the state on that $14 million investment: 155 of the new and emerging companies coming from those incubators have attracted over $284 million in private investment.

There is broad consensus that New York’s financial game plan is particularly sophisticated in theory. “New York is not the only one grwp-contentling with grid modernization,” said Lisa Frantzis, a senior vice president with Advanced Energy Economy, a business group working on alternative energy. “I can tell you that many states are dealing with the same issues but no one is dealing with it as holistically as New York.”

However, some clean energy advocates are not sure if the execution yet meets the ideals of the plan.

Jamie Howland, director of the Climate and Energy Analysis Center at the Acadia Center, an advocacy organization, said this is all still a work in progress. “It is going to take some time to know how well it’s working.”

Meanwhile, he worries about what New York hasn’t done to prime the economy. “New York has to import all its fossil fuels, so for every dollar spent on energy efficiency, the economy grows by five dollars. And New York can clearly do more on energy efficiency. It is lagging states like Massachusetts and Rhode Island.”

In Buffalo, from Hospitial to Clean Energy Producer for the Region?

The partnership between Opus One and National Grid is a prime example of how the new demonstration model is supposed to open up New York’s power grid to innovation that speeds renewable energy.

Last year, the company was looking to aggressively expand operations out of Canada and into the United States. The key was to find a home base with utilities that were both able and willing to integrate radical new technologies.

For the highly regulated industry, it was a tall order. But because of those mandates that utilities partner with third parties, New York fit the bill.

And, in fact, no sooner had Opus settled on New York State than it was picked in September 2016 by National Grid, the utility for greater Buffalo, to partner on a two-year project on cutting-edge technology that could help Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus expand its back-up energy supply to include an expansive portfolio of renewables.

With seven institutions on 120 acres and 17,000 employees, the medical campus is practically a small town. Like all critical care facilities, BNMC is required by law to have a backup power generation system, and like many hospitals, it has relied on one of the dirtiest forms of fuel: diesel.

As BNMC considers how to upgrade its power structure, one option is to invest beyond its own needs and become a clean power producer for the local region.

“There is no doubt to us now that the technology is out there to provide energy from zero-emissions sources,” said Paul Tyno, director of energy investments for BNMC. “The question is the economic feasibility of it.”

“We need to know what kind of return we will get for our investments,” he said.

This is where Opus One comes in. Opus can take just a few limited pieces of information from the grid and, using advanced computer modeling, show comprehensive power flows in real time—as well as accurately predict them in the future.

The transparency also allows Opus to calculate demand for supply and then come up with prices for energy based on where it is being distributed. This is potentially a big breakthrough. One of the problems states like California and Nevada have faced is that they have not yet calculated what they should be paying individual customers for the solar power they generate.

National Grid asked Opus to work on a demonstration project with BMNC to provide a model of a real-time market for its distributed clean power.

“This demonstration is essential in providing us with a better understanding of the technical requirements required to integrate, operate and fully optimize a distributed system,” said Carlos Nouel, vice president of National Grid’s New Energy Solutions group.  If it works, he added, there is potential to scale to the entire area.

Tyno said that New York’s insistence on pilot projects is the foundation of all this experimentation.

“To me, the ability for a customer asset to provide relief to the central grid strengthens that central grid,” he said. “If you’ve got a strong grid that is consistent and reliable and has manageable costs in this day and age, I think you are going to attract business to your area.”

May 6th Student Open House Recap

Our 3rd Annual Student Open House, powered by AT&T, was filled with hands-on activities at every location on the Medical Campus! Students were able to see 3D printers in action, try out robotic surgery, learn about chemical reactors, test new and innovative technologies and more. We thank all of our partners that participated in the event, including UB’s NYS Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, UB’s NYS Center of Materials Informatics, UB’s Center for Computational Research, Kaleida Health, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the Jacobs Institute, Buffalo Manufacturing Works, Unyts and 43North.
View the event photo album on Facebook.


Editorial: Forward-looking Medical Campus is working on parking crunch

Editorial: Forward-looking Medical Campus is working on parking crunch


The Buffalo News

Credit is due to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus for encouraging employees to use greener and healthier means of getting to and from work by taking advantage of public transportation and pedal power.

It is a good strategy for easing the parking crunch that will only get worse with thousands more workers about to join the workforce. And it will help those employees and medical school students develop lifelong habits that will benefit themselves and the environment.

The grounds of the Medical Campus have been bustling. Gates Vascular Institute and the University at Buffalo’s Clinical and Translational Research Center opened in 2012. Conventus Medical Office Building and Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s Clinical Sciences Center opened within the past year.

The John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital and the University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences are scheduled to open by the end of the year.

There will be an astounding number of people in a relatively small space. It would be virtually impossible to create the parking infrastructure that would be needed if everyone drives to work.

Instead, the BNMC is taking a proactive wp-contentroach in getting its expected 15,000 employees to work each day. The nonprofit umbrella organization coordinates transportation and other neighborhood initiatives on the 120-acre Medical Campus.

Officials recently hired a new program manager, Thea Hassan, to work on neighborhood transportation initiatives. Hassan is trying to get folks out into the sunshine and fresh air by persuading them to bicycle to work.

For those concerned about which route to take or  who want to brush up on the rules of the road, Hassan is creating the Bike Sherpa. It’s an ingenious buddy system designed to ease the nervousness beginners might feel about a bicycle commute.

GoBike Buffalo and Reddy Bikeshare have been an integral part of the effort to replace pushing the gas pedal with pushing the bike pedals. Reddy Bikeshare had more than a half-dozen rental bikes on campus last year. This year a second station on the Medical Campus is being added, bringing the total to 200 bikes at 35 stations throughout the city. The bikes rent by the hour or through a yearly $55 membership. There will be a free trial membership to encourage employees to bike to work.

The Bike Sherpa service would be available once every few weeks for a limited time and is free and open to Medical Campus employees.

The nonprofit will also work to make it easier for commuters who want to use Metro Rail. The newly renovated Allen-Medical Campus Station is inside UB’s new medical school building, making it very convenient for workers, students and visitors. The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is providing even more incentive to take public transportation with a six-month trial of a corporate discount program that could cut the cost of a $75 monthly pass to as low as $38.50 for some bus and rail commuters.

Parking crunches are signs of the growing importance of the Medical Campus. Plans to ease them show forward thinking.