Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak (D-Cheektowaga) announced the Assembly passage of a bill he sponsored that looks to step up efficiency and productivity at the state’s Centers for Advanced Technology (CAT), such as the CAT center at the University of Buffalo which focuses on biomedical and bioengineering. The CAT centers were put in place to boost the technology-based applied research and economic development by promoting better collaboration between industry and universities. Gabryszak, chair of the Assembly Task Force on University-Industry Cooperation, said the legislation will bolster the state’s public-private partnerships and prove a boon for the economy.
Since its 1983 inception, Gabryszak said the CAT program has become muddled and congested, standing in the way of the initiative’s mission statement. Gabryszak’s legislation (A.9810) would bring the program back in line with its core, brainstorm-to-box goal, easing restrictions while maintaining accountability and oversight.
The bill would also:
- allow the matching requirement to be an overall match and not on a project-by-project basis;
- allow matches from small businesses to count as double the actual dollar amount toward the center’s overall match requirement;
- extend the time period for quantifiable economic development impact measures to not less than five years; and
- require that centers provide a full description of all non-quantifiable measures.
“In our work growing high-tech companies in the region, the Centers for Advanced Technology (CAT) have been one of the few consistently available resources to help companies launch their new products and services. The whole community will benefit as these improvements to the CAT program will help speed up technology commercialization that leads to better quality of life and creation of new economy jobs,” said Marnie LaVigne, Ph.D., Director of Business Development of the University at Buffalo Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology located at the NYS Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences.
“In today’s uncertain economic climate, cooperation and collaboration between universities and the business community are essential,” Gabryszak said. “Fortunately, we already have the necessary infrastructure in place – it’s just a matter of tuning it up. This bill will provide that spark and help drive our economy into the future.”