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NY Development Agency Greenlights $105M for Upstate, NYGC Genomic Data Network

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The board of directors of New York State's development agency has approved $105 million in funding to establish the NYS Genomic Medicine and Big Data Center (GMBDC), a genomics data partnership that will connect institutions in Buffalo with the New York Genome Center, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said yesterday.

The approval from Empire State Development's board frees up $48 million to fund research infrastructure in the Buffalo-Niagara medical corridor under the Buffalo Billion program, and $57 million to support the New York Genome Center's end of the partnership, Cuomo said.

The funding, which was approved by the state legislature in April, is part of an effort to create the NY Genomic Medicine Network, a program aimed at making Upstate New York a genomics research hub and linking the University of Buffalo's computational infrastructure with research at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and with the NYGC.

Cuomo's office said supercomputing expertise on the Buffalo end of the network will give the NYGC access to computational tools to store the large amounts of genomic data it generates and to accelerate its disease-focused research projects. The NYGC also will partner with the GMDBC to leverage its next-generation sequencing capabilities in studies involving large patient cohorts.

Cuomo said in a statement that the ESD approval means the NY Genomic Medicine Network is "closer to getting off the ground." He said the partnership will "create hundreds of new jobs in both Buffalo and New York City, and put the state in the forefront of this new industry while saving lives and improving public health."

The governor's office said up to $47.5 million in grants will be provided to The Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of the University of Buffalo as reimbursement to help cover the cost of equipment, including hardware and software, and operating expenses. The foundation will own the assets and equipment, which will also be available for use with other collaborators.