Long Island Association president Kevin Law speaks during a meeting...

Long Island Association president Kevin Law speaks during a meeting of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council on Oct. 22, 2015, in Albany. He is a co-vice chairman of the council. Credit: Hans Pennink

The Long Island Association business group has formed a committee to better inform it about the needs of the region’s burgeoning biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.

The committee, called LI Bio, will be led by Bruce Stillman, chief executive of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and Seymour Liebman, chief administrative officer and general counsel of Canon U.S.A. Inc. Both men serve on the LIA’s board of directors.

In unveiling the committee last week, LIA President Kevin Law said it would bring together companies in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals and life sciences to work on projects that benefit the industry’s growth in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

He also said the group would help the LIA in its lobbying of the federal, state and local governments.

The move comes after the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council designated biotechnology last year to receive special attention from state agencies such as Empire State Development, New York as primary business-aid agency.

The council, led by Law and Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz, argued that biotechnology is more critical to the Island’s future than it is to the futures of the state’s nine other regions.

More than 21,000 people work in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals on Long Island, many of them at expanding manufacturers of generic prescription and over-the counter drugs.

The industry has added nearly 2,200 jobs since 2010 with wages, on average, totaling $76,500 per year, according to research from Idaho-based Economic Modeling Specialists Inc.

Long Island has the unique assets to grow biotech jobs and to drive innovation across the state, Law said, referring to research centers and universities such as Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University.

Brookhaven, Stony Brook, Cold Spring Harbor and others are already collaborating on devices and remedies to diseases through the Long Island Bioscience Hub, which is based at Stony Brook’s Center for Biotechnology.

The hub is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the SUNY Research Foundation and Empire State Development.

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