WNY businesses, nonprofits can receive $25K via SPIR program

By Tracy Puckett

Release Date: September 30, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Western New York organizations seeking to boost their competitive edge can receive up to $25,000 in matching funds for technical assistance from the University at Buffalo’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence (SPIR) grant program is open to entrepreneurs, small to mid-sized business and nonprofits in Western New York. The grants subsidize the cost of improving an innovation, upgrading or introducing new technologies, addressing product development and testing challenges, and more.

SPIR is funded by the State University of New York (SUNY) and administered by UB TCIE and counterparts at Binghamton, Stony Brook and New Paltz universities. It allows organizations with 500 employees or less to tap SUNY's brainpower, which includes eight UB engineering departments.

Funds are available, but not limited to, the following types of work: research and development projects; finite element analysis, material design and selection; layout and workflow analysis; accessing shared instrumentation laboratories; and employing graduate and PhD students. Capital expenses are not covered.

“SPIR provides a cost-effective way to access top-notch engineering expertise,” said Timothy Leyh, UB TCIE executive director. “For example, Dr. Edward Furlani of the departments of chemical and biological engineering and electrical engineering, and two graduate engineering students, are helping Vader Systems to develop its direct-to-metal 3D printer prototype.”

Vader, a startup company based in Buffalo, is one of the first approved START-UP NY companies sponsored by UB. The statewide program allows universities to designate vacant space or land as Tax-Free Areas (TFA) where new and expanding businesses can operate for 10 years without paying New York State business, corporate, income, sales or property taxes, or franchise fees.

To be considered for SPIR funding, contact TCIE Business Development Director Gary Simon by Oct. 31 at 716-645-8837 or ggsimon@buffalo.edu.

TCIE is Western New York's bridge to excellence; it provides a dynamic link between UB’s expert resources and the region’s business community. Its core focus on engineering solutions and operational excellence drives continual improvements, and ignites innovation and technological advantages. For more information on how TCIE can assist Western New York businesses, visit www.tcie.buffalo.edu or call 716-645-8800.

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