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A strategy to market LI's tech businesses aggressively

FILE - LIA President Kevin Law, listens during

FILE - LIA President Kevin Law, listens during a press conference. (Dec. 6, 2010) Credit: Ed Betz

The effort to produce businesses and jobs from the high-level research institutions on Long Island continued to gather momentum Tuesday, as Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko and the Long Island Association unveiled an effort to commercialize research done here.

The initiative, called Accelerate Long Island, will be housed at the LIA in Melville if the business group's board approves. It would take scientific work done at Stony Brook University, Hofstra University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory and the North Shore-LIJ Health System and try to turn it into businesses and jobs.

"The goal is to create what people call an entrepreneurial ecosystem on Long Island," said Lesko, a Democrat who had his town's Industrial Development Agency design a plan to get the research institutions to work together and with venture capitalists, particularly on biotechnology, clean energy and information technology. So far, there has been no way for investors to find and fund promising research here, he said.

The leaders of Stony Brook University, and Cold Spring Harbor and Brookhaven labs, met two weeks ago with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to promote a similar goal, but Lesko's plan is further along.

"Nothing is excluded with this proposal," said LIA chairman Kevin Law. If his group shepherds the effort, he said it will enable the region to speak with one voice on turning scientific innovation into new businesses, and would make it easier for high-tech entrepreneurs to find money to get their businesses off the ground.

He and Lesko emphasized that Accelerate Long Island is open to all.

"This is not just a Brookhaven deal," Lesko said.

The goal, of course, is a research-to-business model like the one in Silicon Valley in California, but Lesko said such efforts are common across the country.

"This is not rocket science," he said. "It's exciting, it's real, it's tangible."

Law said he hopes Accelerate Long Island has a leader within five or six months and that it begins it work soon afterward.

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