Stony Brook University and the Long Island Forum for Technology have been awarded nearly $5 million in state and federal funding over the next five years as part of a national program to help local manufacturers grow.
Selected over two other Island applicants, the Stony Brook and LIFT “team” has been designated as one of New York State’s 11 Manufacturing Extension Partnership centers by Empire State Development Corp. The centers will advise small to mid-sized manufacturers on best practices and the use of efficient technology.
The funding breaks down into annual grants of $950,000 for five years, with the option to potentially renew funding for another five years. In addition to the state funds, Stony Brook is committing $320,000 per year, bringing the total budget to $1.27 million annually.
“Stony Brook is just a powerhouse in helping researchers and entrepreneurs bring their businesses to life,” said William Wahlig, executive director of LIFT, a technology industry group, which previously held the manufacturing center designation on its own.
Wahlig said the new partnership with Stony Brook will bolster LIFT’s mission to aid manufacturers by bringing a wealth of resources and expertise in biotechnology, a priority industry cluster as determined by the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council.
Yacov Shamash, vice president for economic development at Stony Brook, said the designation and funding will allow LIFT and the university to figure out ways to “help manufacturers be more efficient and do things at a lower cost.”
“Now, with a new team, we’re able to bring to bear many of the assets we have to our advantage,” said Shamash. He said the two will also be partnering with other Island institutions, including NYIT, Nassau Community College, Suffolk County Community College, Farmingdale State College and ADDAPT, a manufacturing advocacy group.