The Binational Research & Innovation Corridor (BRIC) is a regional initiative to establish a binational innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem. This initiative is a unique response to changing economic and political dynamics by using the border as a strategic advantage. BRIC focuses on life sciences, specifically creating opportunities for ideas to be implemented and brought to the market.
Creating opportunities for cross border collaboration was the theme of this year’s CanAm Now, the signature event of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s CanAm Council. Attendees learned about BRIC through a panel discussion with Pat Whalen of the Niagara Global Tourism Institute, Pamela Marcucci of the Jacobs Institute, Dino Miele of Innovate Niagara and Alex Muggah of the Synapse Life Sciences Consortium. The panel was moderated by Dan Kolundzic of Nanos Research.
According to BRIC, our bi-national region contains three research intensive universities and two award winning research parks totaling $1 billion in annual research spending. Despite the power of this ecosystem, BRIC believes we have not yet tapped its potential when it comes to attracting talent and building powerful partnerships.
Between Western New York, Hamilton and the Greater Niagara area there are 8,000 local and 9,000 international post-secondary students. This pool represents tremendous talent in various fields, including life sciences. Considering the speed of technological and medical innovations, life sciences represents a growth opportunity for our region but only if we can attract and retain a skilled and accomplished workforce.
Keeping and then combining the talent that exists on either side of the border will give our bi-national region a distinct competitive advantage when competing for new companies and innovation with major markets around the globe. BRIC and other partnerships and initiatives among the Canadian and American universities and businesses can help attract students, encourage innovation and create a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Check back as the CanAm Council continues its work on connecting companies on both sides of the border.