The University of Buffalo opened spring of 2012. Our doors opened September of 2012 with all of two employees, and that’s sort of our story.
So one of the things that we’ve done here is a pretty unique model. Really, actually, a lot of what we’ve done here is a unique model. It’s sort of a collaborative utopia. I saw some of those questions that folks had wanted to talk about which was, how do I get hospital administration to try and buy on and maybe get a printer or do things like that. So our model here is a little bit different because the whole building was designed around being able to foster this collaboration.
So rather than, let’s say– actually, two things I should explain. One, some of you may come from larger cities where your university has a hospital. How many of you come from a city where your university has a hospital? OK. So a couple of you, right? Here in Buffalo, University of Buffalo does not have a university hospital. Rather, their physicians have rights to practice at different private hospital systems. And we have two hospital systems here. We have Catholic and we have Kaleida. You are in a Kaleida facility– well, not right now. Right now you’re in a different part of the building, but it’s a Kaleida facility.
So the bottom four floors are actually the hospital. So what you’re looking down onto right now is the top floor of the hospital. And obviously we’ve got all the specialists here. The idea was, at the old hospital you had folks in cardiac and folks in neuro and folks in peripheral and other vascular specialties and they were in all different parts of the hospital. The idea here was, let’s have everybody– all of the physicians, the clinicians– in one space to best treat vascular disease. So it’s all about thinking differently, thinking uniquely, and bringing all these people in sort of a primordial soup of ideas. So the researchers here, the physicians down there, and then you say, ah, this is really a vertical campus. So it’s sort of this collaborative utopia where folks can then come to– where do they come? They come to the Jacobs Institute.
We think of ourselves as a playground for innovation. It’s where everybody can kind of meet and congregate and bump into each other, and it often happens. The physicians will come up to grab a cup of coffee, bump into Dr. Ionita, and then before you know it they may be talking about some new model that needs to be made for some specific case.
And then working with Karen and with Rick so that it’s really sort of a unique model we have here. So we recognize that and we understand that, where we’re talking to you about what the difficulties you might face with your own university or with your own facility is that it’s a little different here.
But having said that, there was a lot of collaborative work to laying the foundation and getting the administration downstairs even to become interested in 3D printing. And you’ll learn more about the history and how that sort of evolved shortly thereafter.
But just to sort of understand that this is really a vertical campus. So rather than having the hospital in one place, the university in another part of campus, and then a medical innovation center somewhere else, we’re all here. It’s one stop shopping. So we do a lot of things in terms of– we collaborate with industry, we actually work with their executives, their sales representatives and their engineers to educate them about what we’re doing here with vascular disease.
Here, obviously, we provide a unique opportunity because folks can watch surgeries and then they can come up into our space and then they can practice surgeries or try and understand more. We use– I don’t want to walk into anything– use the 3D models to educate them, so give them an opportunity at hands-on experience without having to touch a patient. So that’s our big selling point here.