Ryan pushes to continue state funding for jobs program

Feb 26, 2018

State funding for a program that's created hundreds of local jobs should be restored, according to Assemblyman Sean Ryan. He says, Albany's $3.5 million investment in the University at Buffalo's technology-based economic development programs created 372 new jobs, last year alone.

(L-R) Sentient Science CEO Ward Thomas, NYS Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences at UB, Exec. Dir. Norma Nowak, Circuit Clinical Founder Irfan Khan, Assemblyman Sean Ryan.
Credit Chris Caya WBFO News

Ward Thomas, a native of Toronto, is CEO of Sentient Science. Thomas says, he moved his company from California to the Medical Campus because of UB's super computer.

"And we have seen just such a difference in the short period of time we've been here how Buffalo is just transforming in front of our eyes. And we're so fortunate to be apart of that and humbled by the infrastructure that exists here to help a company like us who's far more successful here than in California." And Thomas said, since 2014, Sentient Science has grown from four people to over 100 employees.

Irfin Khan, MD, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Circuit Clinical says, his company has seen year-over-year growth since 2014 and now has over 20 employees.

"We were moving to Denver. I tell this all the time. I was actually looking at a house, in Denver, when an official with STARTUP NY reached out. We sat down, and I said, honestly we're a startup. We don't have a lot of time to work on projects that aren't going to pan out. She's like, 'no this is perfect for you because you're a life sciences company and a technology company. And that's what UB is really focusing on, in terms of keeping in Buffalo, and growing great companies here.'" Khan said.

Along with growing jobs, industries partnering with UB reported investing $5 million in their businesses and acquiring over $50 million in grants and private investment to expand their enterprises.   

Ryan said, the state's minimal investment is having a maximum impact and creating technology-based jobs that will transform Buffalo's economy for the future.