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Long Island projects backed for state business aid

The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council is

The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council is backing research by Molloy College that uses horseshoe crabs. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

A program to help young farmers buy equipment, a cybersecurity initiative to protect the electric grid from terrorism, and research on using horseshoe crabs to fight disease are among the projects being endorsed for state funding by a local group of business executives, union leaders and educators.

The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council will back the three proposals and others next month for state grants and tax credits. The council is competing with nine others from around the state for a share of up to $750 million in business aid to be awarded this fall by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's administration.

The council unanimously approved its funding recommendations Thursday at a meeting at Stony Brook University. Each project is judged on a 100-point scale, with the local council given up to 20 points and the state agencies providing the money up to 80 points.

Kevin Law, the council's co-vice chairman and president of the Long Island Association business group, said this year's projects, like those receiving support in the past three years, are designed to grow the economy. "We are planting seeds in all parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties to create and retain sustainable jobs for our future," he said.

The farm equipment program from the Peconic Land Trust is part of a larger effort to sustain the next generation of farmers in Suffolk County, according to Andrea Lohneiss, Long Island regional director for Empire State Development, which administers the councils statewide.

Stony Brook University plans a Center of Excellence for Infrastructure and Energy Cybersecurity.

Molloy College wants to research how blood from Atlantic horseshoe crabs can be used to detect bacterial endotoxin that contaminates liquids given to patients, said Dr. Samuel Stanley, a council member and president of Stony Brook University.

Other endorsed projects, from a field of 196 applications, include two seaweed farms on the North Fork, a parking garage in Patchogue, a community center in Huntington Station and a training center for nurses at Adelphi University.

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