AMHERST, N.Y. — Ground will be broken this year on the newly-announced Buffalo IT Innovation and Commercialization Hub. The anchor tenant will be IBM, and the company has committed to bringing 500 jobs to its future downtown location.
IBM officials say this isn't a data center - it's a high-tech research center.
"Around this category of data and data usage you have to have a tool and a mechanism to innovate. That requires deep research, deep science, and very, very skilled scientists," said Mike Cadigan, general manager and head of IBM Microelectronics Systems and Technology Group.
It's the kind of center officials say will keep talented Western New Yorkers here. Professional data engineers who had to move in the past for careers will now be able to find those high-tech positions in Buffalo.
"There was great work that was being done at the University of Buffalo, and it was going elsewhere. It was time that we actually kept the work and the development that was going on at our universities and local colleges kept here in Western New York," said County Executive Mark Poloncarz, D-Erie County.
The center is an investment by IBM and the state in nanotechnology, and it's part of a larger investment across New York.
Governor Cuomo said from the time he made his initial Buffalo billion announcement, he was thinking of a project like this.
"We're gonna invest a billion dollars in Buffalo - I had nanotech in my head," said Gov. Cuomo, D-New York.
"I think that there's a tremendous resource to be tapped in Western New York. I am a native of Buffalo. Graduated from the university, as did my son, and I think there's talent here that unfortunately, today, many of those individuals leave because the opportunity is not here, and I think we have a great opportunity to leverage and utilize that talent in Western New York," Cadigan said.
The hub is sent to open in 2015. The exact downtown location hasn't been chosen yet.