WNYREDC-funded project will accelerate medical innovation to save lives

Empire State Development (ESD) and the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC) today announced that The Jacobs Institute (JI) launched its i2R, or Idea to Reality, a vascular medical device proof-of-concept center, that will bring life-saving interventions to market sooner.  The project, a WNYREDC Priority Project, was funded, in part, by a $4 million REDC grant in round 1 of the awards and a $400,000 grant in round 6.

“Inventors who utilize i2R will turn their ideas into products, ready for commercialization. They’ll start businesses and create jobs.” said Jeff Belt, CEO of SolEpoxy and Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-chair. “The Jacobs Institute is a tremendous example of a REDC project that builds on Western New York’s strengths in a priority sector: health and life sciences, and i2R advances the Regional Council’s economic development strategy by fostering a new culture of entrepreneurship in Buffalo.”

“The Jacobs Institute’s i2R is leveraging the region’s well-known vascular medical knowledge to create a hub that is attracting people from around the world while enhancing the reputation of Western New York,” said Virginia Horvath, President of SUNY Fredonia and Western New Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-chair. “I am proud of the Regional Council’s assistance in this project, as well as The Jacobs Institute's contributions to accelerating our region’s turnaround.”

“In keeping with The Future of Medicine book published by the JI in the fall of 2017, the JI is launching its i2R, to accelerate future innovations in the treatment of stroke and heart attack, which are devastating the WNY community at rates higher than both the New York state and national average,” said JI’s Chief Executive Officer Bill Maggio.  “One of our goals is to spin out start-ups from the i2R and encourage them to stay and create jobs right here in Buffalo. There is a reason why Buffalo has raised its visibility as a desirable destination for start-ups. The JI plans to leverage that reputation and the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

The JI also announced its partners that will assist in navigating the regulatory path, engineering medical devices, and providing data analytics expertise. The i2R’s first two projects were revealed, showcasing a medical simulation collaboration project with Moog Inc. and an innovative medical device with Silicon Valley-based company, Spinnaker.  Read more about these partners and projects here.

The $4 million Regional Council grant to The Jacob’s Institute is being used for a portion of the specialized equipment, furniture and fixtures and working capital necessary to create the cutting-edge, state-of-the-art medical device innovation center.  The $400,000 grant will be used for reimbursement of costs associated with the design, renovation and purchase and installation of equipment for the i2R Center. 

In the first seven rounds of the Regional Council initiative, the Western New York region has been awarded $487.2 million in state support for 663 projects across the region.   The Western New York region’s 2011 strategic plan, “A Strategy for Prosperity,” leverages the region’s strategic advantages in key industry sectors including advanced manufacturing, agriculture, bi-national logistics, energy, health & life sciences, higher education, professional services and tourism. The plan focuses on economic enablers that promote smart growth, prepare the workforce and foster a culture of entrepreneurship. 

About the Jacobs Institute

The Jacobs Institute is a non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate the development of next-generation technologies in vascular medicine through collisions of physicians, engineers, entrepreneurs, and industry. The JI's vision is to improve the treatment of vascular disease in Western New York and the world, while fostering local economic development. The JI fosters medical collaboration and innovation through partnerships with the University at Buffalo (UB), Kaleida Health, and industry, to be a fitting tribute to the work and memory of Lawrence D. Jacobs, M.D.  To learn more about the Jacobs Institute, please visit its website at: https://jacobsinstitute.org.

For more about the i2R visit http://www.idea2reality.org and watch a whiteboard video explaining its process https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5m0-zArSA4. The Future of Medicine, released by the JI, can be found here http://futureof.org/medicine-1-0/ .

About the Regional Economic Development Councils

The Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative is a key component of Governor Cuomo's approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources.

After seven rounds of the REDC process, more than $5.4 billion has been awarded to more than 6,300 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans, projecting to create and retain more than 220,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.