LIA president Kevin Law, with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin...

LIA president Kevin Law, with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at the annual meeting of the Long Island Association at the Crest Hollow Country Club, says the development of technologies is going to be "a significant priority." (Feb. 17, 2011) Credit: Charles Eckert

For the first time ever, the leaders of the Big Five - Long Island's largest research and educational institutions - are now all on the board of the Long Island Association.

Does that matter? Yes, said LIA chief Kevin Law, who disclosed the names of the organization's new board members at the group's annual meeting in Woodbury Thursday.

Getting the leaders of Brookhaven National Lab, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Hofstra University, State University at Stony Brook and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory all on one board at the same time is something of a feat.

And it also goes along with the association's new program, Accelerate Long Island, just announced in January. That program seeks to find ways to commercialize ideas that come out of the Big Five.

"The development of those technologies is going to be a significant priority," Law said.

The Big Five have not worked together, or with the larger business community, as well or as often as they should have, Law said.

"The arrangement never reached its potential," Law said. Not yet, anyway. Now Samuel Aronson, director of BNL; Michael Dowling, president of North Shore LIJ; Stuart Rabinowitz, president of Hofstra; Dr. Samuel Stanley Jr., president of Stony Brook, and Bruce Stillman, president of Cold Spring Harbor Lab, will be in the same room at the same time, at least once a month, for LIA board meetings.

"It can only be good to have them talking," said association chairman Brian Cullen.

Venture capitalist Mark Fasciano also just joined the LIA board; the Accelerate program's mission is to attract venture capital.

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