Eighty local technology businesses have been invited to meet with the United Kingdom's international business development arm in Stony Brook on Monday to learn more about a contest that could help companies expand into the U.K. and Europe.

The GREAT Tech Awards contest, run by the U.K. government, is open to established technology companies in the education, finance, health, Internet, lifestyle and media sectors, said Martin Cook, director for UK Trade and Investment USA, who will be at the event Monday.

Winners in each category will be flown to London for a weeklong seminar on setting up a business in the United Kingdom, and they will receive free incubator space for up to six months as well as mentoring from British companies.

Cook said the contest would aid businesses in expanding internationally, and not draw them away from the United States.

It's "also to make tech companies aware of what the U.K. has to offer in terms of . . . opportunity, skills . . . and money."

This is the second year for the GREAT Tech contest, and the first time it has reached outside of New York City for applicants. One of last year's winners has already set up an office in England.

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Cook said Stony Brook was chosen as a recruitment area because it is "one of the hot spots of the tech cluster on Long Island." The event will take place at the Long Island High Technology Incubator, and Cook will also visit Stony Brook University's Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology.

Those interested can apply at gov.uk/great-tech-awards. Companies interested in applying do not necessarily need to be profitable, but judges expect businesses to have at least 10 employees, Cook said.