Take the GoBNMC Commuter Survey Today!

GoBNMC Commuter Survey

The BNMC team has launched our bi-annual GoBNMC commuter survey to help with transportation planning for our district. We use this data to continually expand and improve the many safe, cost-effective and accessible ways for everyone to get to work. This year, we’re also hoping to learn more about COVID-19’s current and future impacts on how employees and students choose to get to the Medical Campus.

Please fill out the survey by October 30th to be entered into our raffle to win 1 of 10 $25 gift certificates to the Neighborhood Explorer Business of your choice.



Drive Green: The Truth About EV Winter Worries

If you’re thinking about making the switch to an electric car, you might be nervous about winter driving. Not to worry! Here are some quick truths and tips about driving your electric vehicle (EV) through a New York winter, with tons more info here.

Your range will decrease in the winter. Because batteries operate less efficiently when they’re cold, your EV will get fewer miles per kilowatt-hour in the winter. However, the range for gas powered cars also decreases by as much as 22% in the winter!

 Snow and ice are not usually a problem for EVs. Because the battery often makes up the floorboard of the vehicle, EVs have a low center of gravity and evenly distributed weight, which makes them stable and easy to maneuver, and increases traction on snow or icy terrain.


Precondition your vehicle. Warm up your car while it’s still plugged in so that you don’t deplete your battery’s reserves. Getting into a warm car also means you don’t have to crank the heat as much once it’s unplugged!

 Use the special heating features for your vehicle. If your car offers heated seats and steering wheels, use them! They will use less energy and allow you to comfortably keep the cabin temperature slightly lower.

 Drive efficiently. Use regenerative breaking to capture any energy that might otherwise be lost and avoid speeding as it increases drag, which decreases mileage.

 Park and charge somewhere warm. If you must park outside, try to find a sunny spot to keep your battery warm.

To learn more about the ins and outs of driving your electric vehicle in the winter, please visit drivegreen.nationalgridus.com/learn/winter.

National Grid $500 Power-Driven Promo

National Grid $500 Power-Driven Promo


There are lots of reasons to switch to an electric car: they’re more fun to drive, cheaper to fuel, and way better for the environment than gas guzzlers. You already live or work near a charging station, but if you’re still waiting for a sign to make the switch to electric, this is it.

From November 1st until the end of the year, National Grid customers in upstate New York who purchase an electric car are eligible for a $500 Visa gift card as a special bonus!

This $500 is enough to cover charging for 12,000 driving miles, jump start the installation of your own at-home charging station, or go for a wintertime getaway in your brand new electric car. Learn more and wp-contently for your gift card here.

Curious about electric cars but don’t know where to start? Drive Green with National Grid is a program to help you learn everything you need to know about driving on electricity. Whether you’re planning on buying a new car soon or you’ve still got plenty of life left in your old gas guzzler, your next car should be electric!

For more information about Drive Green with National Grid, or if you have any questions about electric cars and this special end-of-the-year offer, please call us at 1-800-287-3950 x7, or email us at drivegreenuny@greenenergyconsumers.org.


black vehicle

Considering an electric car? Charge it on the Medical Campus!

Considering an electric car? Charge it on the Medical Campus!

Many people are interested in electric vehicles because of their performance, as well as their environmental and consumer benefits. But knowing how and where to charge an EV can be confusing.

The good news is, charging an EV at home and on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is easy!

As someone who works on the Medical Campus, you are in luck – you can also charge at work! The BNMC team has installed EVCS in many of its parking garages and lots, including 12 dual charging stations at 854 Ellicott Street, ten ECVS at 134 High Street*, and four EVCS at 589 Ellicott*, plus two curbside stations across from the Innovation Center at 640 Ellicott Street*, with the ability to charge 40 vehicles at one time. View this map to see locations of our current charging stations.  * Scheduled to be upgraded in 2019.

We are committed to ensuring that our infrastructure supports sustainable transportation, everything from making it easy to charge electric vehicles, to installing hundreds of additional bike racks, to providing reduced-rate transit passes. We are building an innovation district known for accessible, environmentally-forward ways for everyone to get here.

All modern EVs sold in the U.S. use a standard charging port for Level I (120-volt) and Level II (240-volt) charging for EVs, the J1772 port. Most EV owners charge at home, either (a) using the plug that comes with the vehicle to plug into a normal 120 volt outlet to add around 5 miles of range per hour of charging, or (b) installing a 240-volt charger to add 10-25 miles of range per hour charging. There is also more public charging available than many people think. You can learn more about charging at home and on the go at drivegreen.nationalgridus.com/charging.

Considering getting an EV? Check out discounts from local dealers through the Drive Green with National Grid program at drivegreen.nationalgridus.com.

Did you know?  Upstate NY customers can reduce their costs with the voluntary time-of-use rate by charging their electric vehicle during the off-peak hours of 11pm to 7am. Most EVs can be easily programmed to charge during these hours using an onboard timer, mobile wp-content, outlet timer, or EV charging station.

This content is provided to the BNMC through our partnership with National Grid’s Drive Green program.

Space Growing Scarce at a Medical Campus Seeking its Niche – Buffalo News Story

Fast-growing center seeks its place in the crowded biomedical sector

(Photos from The Buffalo News)

Published: 06/8/2013, 7:15 PM

As the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus works to overcome the region’s reputation as a high-tax, Rust Belt destination, it is already attracting enough tenants to be outgrowing its footprint, with two million square feet of space already added and another two million square feet planned by 2016. From left, electric cars charge in the parking lot across from the Innovation Center. Michelle Roti, a research technician, adds antibiotics to a growth media for cells at Tartis/Aging. Tivona Renoni, from GO Bike Buffalo, left, and Henry Raess work in the Innovation Center. Matthew Masin/Buffalo News

By Stephen T. Watson | News Staff Reporter | @buffaloscribe

The Texas Medical Center in Houston is the largest medical campus in the world, with 106,000 employees working in 290 buildings spread over an area 50 percent larger than Darien Lake theme park.

The powerhouse University of Pittsburgh pulled in $127 million in National Institutes of Health research grants this year, eight times the University at Buffalo’s total.

And the Miami Health District generates a $3 billion annual economic impact for Miami-Dade County in South Florida.

Skeptics wonder how the younger, and far smaller, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus can carve out a similar niche in the nation’s crowded and highly competitive biomedical sector, while overcoming the region’s high-tax, Rust Belt reputation in order to recruit scientists, doctors and entrepreneurs.

But experts contend Buffalo is not too puny or too far behind the other centers, and the Buffalo Niagara campus will succeed if it leverages its advantages of strong community support, collaborative decision-making and proximity to Southern Ontario.

“I get some rolling eyes when I say, ‘Buffalo’s doing a terrific job’,” said Charlie Dilks, a consultant and former president of the Association of University Research Parks. “They say, ‘Buffalo’s a dead city.’ I say, ‘No, it’s not.’

“That’s from people who haven’t been there and haven’t seen what’s going on. Unfortunately, it takes a long time for reputations to change.”

Other cities have found that a robust medical campus generates an array of benefits, from boosting health care, improving medical education, attracting research funds and creating jobs by taking innovations from the laboratory to the marketplace. That’s why cities, health care providers and universities pool resources.

“That’s what an academic medical center does,” said Candace S. Johnson, deputy director of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, citing the revenue generated at Pitt, where she previously worked. “It would be fantastic if we had that.”

The 11-year-old Buffalo Niagara campus is growing quickly, with two million square feet of space – or about 10 Walmart Supercenters – added in the past two years and another two million square feet planned by 2016. Employment on site will grow from 12,000 to 17,000 by then.

But the land-locked, 120-acre campus is starting to feel a space squeeze, with an Innovation Center that houses young companies nearly filled. Campus officials are thinking vertically and planning construction of a new center on top of a parking ramp to make better use of space.

“We can’t build five-story buildings anymore. We have to maximize the site,” said Patrick J. Whalen, the campus’ chief operating officer.

Life-sciences jobs

Other cities may have much bigger medical campuses, but the biomedical field is a crowded one, and the industry is big enough – and specialized enough – that no single region or institution can dominate, according to Simon J. Tripp, senior director of the technology partnership practice for Battelle, a global research and development organization.

The nation has about 125 academic medical centers, including Buffalo, and all are trying to build a life-sciences economy from the research they perform, Tripp said.

“The pie is so incredibly large that even a small slice, particularly for a community the size of Buffalo, can be a pretty significant economic engine,” he said.

The successful medical campuses have strong leadership, are treated as a community priority and their member institutions play nice with each other, said Dilks, the industry consultant. “I don’t think you’re too late to the game at all,” he said of Buffalo.

The hard part, Tripp added, is creating a “comprehensive innovation ecosystem,” with sufficient venture capital and veteran leadership to build and support a network of startups.

The region needs to capitalize on its strengths as a border community with an educated workforce and low cost of living, experts said, while finding a niche in a field such as genomics or cancer research.

“You get to where you’re recognized as a center of excellence in something,” said Thomas A. Kucharski, president and CEO of Buffalo Niagara Enterprise. “I think all that is starting to take hold on the medical campus. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time.”

Collaboration models

The medical campus organization – which represents UB, Roswell Park, Kaleida Health and other institutions – is a model of collaboration that followed less-successful efforts in the 1980s and ’90s.

“I think people were ready,” said Thomas R. Beecher Jr., an attorney who headed the medical corridor planning effort in the early 2000s.

Local organizers extensively studied the best practices at other centers and research parks.

“Tom Beecher said, ‘No sense reinventing the wheel. Let’s steal shamelessly from other places,’ ” Whalen recalled.

The Buffalo team learned, for example, the organization that runs the vast Texas Medical Campus makes enough money from the 27,500 parking spaces it owns to cover its overhead costs. Now the entity that runs the Buffalo campus is “pretty much self-sufficient” from parking and Innovation Center rent revenue, Whalen said.

Community benefits

It will take time for the benefits of the medical campus development to reach the surrounding neighborhoods.

Ruth Bryant, a retired assistant dean in UB’s School of Architecture and Planning, serves as the Fruit Belt’s representative on the medical campus board. She said residents are concerned about boosting home ownership in their neighborhood, ensuring they have access to the jobs created on the campus and keeping the cars and SUVs of campus employees from crowding their streets.

“How do you respect that neighborhood while still growing?” Bryant asked. “It’s the residents working with the campus to come up with the solutions.”

Officials acknowledge the campus won’t be considered a success until research is spun off into biotech companies.

“If you look at other models and other communities out there, it’s the private sector investment that drives everything,” said Enstice.

Innovation Center

Not every life-sciences company will succeed – as the demise of SmartPill Corp. showed – but the Innovation Center on the Buffalo campus is spurring this effort.

There are 63 companies in the center named for Beecher, including a fourth-floor incubator.

The center hosts Bagel Fridays, where tenants casually engage over a light breakfast, and three projects have grown out of the weekly gatherings.

“The building has great energy,” said Rob Wynne, the president and executive creative director of Wynne Creative Group, an advertising agency that moved its six employees to the Innovation Center in 2012.

Mobile HealthCare Connections was the first incubator tenant. The company works with doctors, nurses and pharmacists to provide real-time, in-home monitoring and management of patients, particularly those who are elderly and less able to get around.

“It’s the heartbeat of the medical community,” CEO Brian Egan said.

The Innovation Center opened in 2010, part of a recent flurry of construction activity, and 5,000 more workers are expected on campus by 2016, when Children’s Hospital and UB Medical School are opened.

City Comptroller Mark J.F. Schroeder has asked Whalen, the campus’ chief operating officer, to meet with representatives of credit ratings agencies to show them the development taking place on the medical campus.

One woman from Standard & Poor’s, looking at a map of the campus, told Whalen they seem to be running out of room.

Thinking vertically

The campus has to think vertically, Whalen said, as when UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center and Kaleida’s Gates Vascular Institute were stacked in the same building. One option for the second Innovation Center fits this model.

The campus needs to build another center to house Albany Molecular Research Inc. and the other tenants of a drug and medical research facility.

The first plan, which would have required tearing down part of the former Trico complex, ran into objections from preservationists.

Now, campus officials are looking at a different wp-contentroach: Tearing down the aging, city-owned Ellicott Goodrich Garage, known as the EGG, and replacing those 900 spaces with a 1,600-vehicle ramp and several floors of research space on top of the $87 million structure.

AMRI, the anchor tenant, and its partners are receiving a $50 million state grant to support their move to the campus.

The hope is the next AMRI won’t require any financial carrot, because the prospect of locating on the medical campus will be attraction enough.

“It’s the culture change this is bringing to Buffalo. The campus makes that undeniable,” said Marnie LaVigne, UB’s associate vice president for economic development. “I have my own mother asking me, ‘Is this real?’ It’s real.”

email: swatson@buffnews.com