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Cuomo taps Canon U.S.A. exec for statewide biotech advisory panel

Seymour Liebman, executive vice president of Canon's headquarters

Seymour Liebman, executive vice president of Canon's headquarters in Melville, is the only Long Islander on the panel. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

A top Canon U.S.A. executive has been tapped by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to help advise the state on investing $620 million in biotechnology companies across the state.

Seymour Liebman, executive vice president at camera and office machine giant Canon, is one of 16 members of the state’s new Life Science Advisory Board, the governor announced Thursday.

Liebman, who works at the company’s Americas headquarters in Melville, is the only Long Islander on the panel. It will help the state implement a life science initiative unveiled by Cuomo last year.

The initiative consists of $320 million for so-called “wet laboratories” and equipment, $100 million in tax credits to support research, $100 million in tax credits for expanding startups and $100 million in venture capital from investors.

Biotechnology, including drug manufacturing, has been identified by the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council as a key industry for the region that offers the potential for job growth.

Council co-vice chairman Kevin Law, president of the Long Island Association business group, said Thursday Liebman’s appointment “will be helpful in bringing [the Island’s] capabilities to the table as statewide plans are discussed.”

Law said Canon’s biomedical division, which sells laboratory equipment, led the LIA to tap Liebman for a leadership role in LI Bio, an initiative aimed at increasing cooperation and communication among local biotech businesses.

Cuomo said biotech offers New York the potential of “creating jobs, spurring new advancements and research, and growing our economy.”

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