BUFFALO, NY- Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that manufacturing organization EWI, will operate the Advanced Manufacturing Institute, a state-of-the-art facility to support the growth of Western New York's manufacturing sector.

The decision is part of the Buffalo Billion initiative to spur economic development opportunities in the region.

The facility will be housed at 847 Main Street in Buffalo, in a building that is being purchased by the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) with an $8 million Buffalo Billion grant from Empire State Development (ESD).

The agreement calls for BNMC to provide, at no cost, space to house EWI for their start-up operations. ESD is also providing $800,000 start-up funding support for EWI.

"The Advanced Manufacturing Institute is an essential component of the Buffalo Billion initiative that will build on Western New York's manufacturing history to create new economic opportunity for the region," Governor Cuomo said. "As operator of the Institute, EWI will bring a proven record of helping the industry tackle and solve manufacturing and production issues. Under this partnership, EWI will make Western New York more competitive and position the region as a leader in manufacturing technology and innovation, which will help spur new economic opportunities and job creation for years to come."

The Advanced Manufacturing Institute is one of the signature initiatives of the Buffalo Billion Investment Development Plan. Governor Cuomo recognizes that if the region is to reach its potential, the manufacturing sector must be expanded. The Center is part of a multi-pronged strategy to accelerate the growth of specialized manufacturing sub-sectors that are well positioned for high growth in a globally competitive market.

"Many recent studies have cited the importance of technical innovation to advanced manufacturing competitiveness," said Howard Zemsky, Regional Council Co-chair and Managing Partner at Larkin Development Group. "The Institute will be a commercially viable enterprise that will conduct applied research and development to spur innovation by helping manufacturers identify, test, and implement manufacturing technologies which create a competitive advantage for their products. The Institute will enable new product and process development with particular emphasis on the region's growth sectors such as advanced manufacturing, machinery, food processing, chemicals, medical devices and pharmaceuticals."

Advanced manufacturing is an export oriented, innovation-fueled, and opportunity rich sector defined as products and cutting-edge science and technology.

Senator Tim Kennedy said, "Western New York's manufacturing sector was built upon a foundation of hard work that is inherent among our diverse workforce. The Advanced Manufacturing Institute will build upon that foundation by fostering innovation and opening up new opportunities for growth. It will prove to be critical to unlocking our region's potential to become an advanced manufacturing powerhouse. With EWI at the helm, the AMI will steer Buffalo and Western New York along a path toward sustained economic development and job creation."

The search is continuing for the Institute's permanent facility. A temporary location has been identified at the former Smart Pill building at 847 Main Street in the city of Buffalo., with Institute operations slated to begin in mid-2014. It is envisioned that nearly 50% of the space will be dedicated to laboratories and the balance of the space being filled by large meeting rooms, cafeteria and flexible office space.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, "We're focused on further fostering a business environment in Buffalo that attracts more investment and job opportunities for city residents. The Advanced Manufacturing Institute facility will respond to industries' development, resulting in increased innovation, product development, and process efficiency that will benefit the local economy and citizens of Buffalo."