The New York Institute of Technology says it will create...

The New York Institute of Technology says it will create an center to train entrepreneurs to expand jobs on Long Island. This is the gate in Old Westbury. Credit: Howard Schnapp, 2007

The New York Institute of Technology plans a $1.7 million entrepreneurship center to create new businesses on Long Island, officials said Wednesday.

The institute will consolidate and expand its existing partnerships with industry into the new Entrepreneurship & Technology Innovation Center. It will be based in the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences on NYIT's Old Westbury campus.

State officials said they had reached agreement with NYIT for $400,000 in state aid. The money was originally awarded in December, part of $101.6 million secured from Albany by the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council.

Officials estimated the NYIT center would create and preserve 800 jobs.

Stuart Rabinowitz, council co-vice chairman and Hofstra University president, said the center will "grow today's ideas into the businesses and workforce of tomorrow."

Council co-vice chairman Kevin Law, also president of the Long Island Association business group, said "this project directly creates new jobs now, while having the potential to provide thousands of Long Islanders employment opportunities in the innovative industries that will be vital to sustained economic prosperity."

The center will concentrate on information technology and cyber security, bioengineering and health analytics, energy and green technologies.

NYIT engineering dean Nada Marie Anid said the college "is proud to be the single educational institution in New York State to receive state funding for a technology grant to drive economic growth" in 2011.

The state money will be used to renovate 5,300 square feet of space on the Old Westbury campus. NYIT also has campuses in Central Islip and Manhattan.

Assisting small technology companies makes sense because they, along with other small businesses, "are the backbone of our economy," said Kenneth Adams, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's economic development czar.

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