The Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University has received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.

The university’s biotech center is one of 35 organizations nationwide to receive funding under the EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies program, an initiative designed to spur the commercialization of innovations and help researchers turn discoveries into viable companies.

The Center for Biotechnology plans to use the money over the next three years to develop a formal mentoring program, as well as a training program focused on helping companies better compete for funding from the National Institutes of Health.

“The Commerce Department has a key role to play in supporting the visionaries and job creators of tomorrow,” Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said in a statement.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) in a statement said the funding will help provide “local bio-entrepreneurs with the resources they need to kick-start innovation and create jobs in the region.”

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