High tech Buffalo style

I woke up this morning to the news that Buffalo, N.Y. a neighbouring U.S. town to Toronto, where I live is going to get a state-of-the-art high tech hub.

Called Buffalo High Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub or Riverbend, because it’s situated right along the Buffalo River is going to cost close to $2 billion and create 850 new jobs for the impoverished city.

This is great news for the city of Buffalo and I am really happy for the community. But you are going to have to count me on the skeptical side on this deal. So according to the New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo this 90 acre, six-building campus will have two high tech companies who will contribute roughly $750 million each to the project, while the New York state tax payer chips in $225 million.

On the surface $225 million is chump change for a 275,000 square-foot facility that could net the city of good neighbours more high tech start-ups.

However, the two companies involved on Soraa and Silevo aren’t exactly Google or Microsoft.

The Fremont, Calif.-based Soraa makes lamps using LED technology from pure gallium nitride substrates. This process has helped the company produce lamps that shine brighter and more efficient. Not exactly Google Internet search or the silicon microprocessor.

As for Silevo, they are also based in Fremont, Calif., and manufacture solar cell and photovoltaic solar modules; basically solar panels. Not exactly cloud computing or the smartphone.

I would like to know the Fremont connection with Buffalo, but I will leave that to Western New Yorkers.

Despite my skepticism this is a positive move for Buffalo for these reasons. The Riverbend high tech hub will be built on the old Republic Steel plant, which has been contaminated for years.

  • Buffalo will remove an eye-soar for something that is at least modern.
  • It may provide an option for future high tech innovators to consider the Queen city.
  • It does create jobs.
  • And, they are producing clean energy products.

I only wish the politicians wouldn’t try to fool the public into believing this is high tech or even innovation. It’s not. It’s manufacturing. Sure instead of making steel they will be making solar panels and lamps, which is better for the environment.

Three quick hits before I go: Luc Villeneuve will be named the new president of Red Hat Canada sometime in early December. Villeneuve was the president of McAfee Canada and will replace Christine Steger who left for Sitecore Canada.

Tech Data appointed Joe Quaglia to president of the Americas. He will lead the distributor’s sales, marketing, logistics and purchasing operations throughout the U.S., Canada and Latin America.

ALC, Inc., who is celebrating 35 years in business this year, named Eric Johnson as its new senior vice president of new business development.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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