In his State of the Town address Tuesday, Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko opened with remarks of positive change in 2010 and ended with an announcement of a regional effort to commercialize innovations in research on Long Island.
The “Accelerate Long Island” initiative joins the Town of Brookhaven, Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Laboratory and a number of other Long Island research leaders.
Using Collaborative Economics of Silicon Valley, an organization that helps government agencies and businesses create breakthroughs in how people think and act in their regions, the Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency helped build a business plan to connect all the research institutions on the Island.
“The time has come for Long Island as a region to come together and compete with other areas of the country in commercializing research conducted at our world class institutions,” Lesko said. “We have the researchers and the ideas. What we don’t have is an entrepreneurial class that will take those ideas and turn them into high technology companies that will succeed, locate and remain here.”
Among the many nooks and crannies of the “Accelerate Long Island” program are an innovation ally to index data regarding components of a potential innovation ecosystem, an Entrepreneurial Clinical Program that would provide business assistance to start-up companies, a Long Island Commercialization Center to promote mentoring and networking, and a Long Island Seed Fund to fill the gap for early stage start-ups.
What’s the next step? The board, made up of educational and research figureheads on Long Island, will key into the biotechnology, clean energy and information technology zones of society, which are all, “showing growth and concentration of industries in the region relative to the state and nation,” according to document released by the Town of Brookhaven.
“Stony Brook is pleased to be involved in this very important effort that brings together some of the leading institutions on Long Island,” said Stony Brook University president Samuel L. Stanley Jr., who issued a statement and attended the State of the Town address. “Accelerate Long Island will help facilitate innovation and generate new technologies into the marketplace for the benefit of the region, now and in the future.”
During the address, Lesko pointed at Brookhaven as a leader among municipal governments, which is an “incubator for ideas.”
He said Brookhaven is, “leading the way for the rest of New York to follow in devising a new model for government.”
While he mentioned his program and success, it’s the Accelerate announcement that garnered the most attention in the speech.
“There is no doubt that Long Island must be competitive in the national and global marketplace,” he said. “The time for action is now. Accelerate Long Island is real, it’s necessary, and it is essential for the economic future of Long Island. We are the Town that will lead Long Island towards a bright economic future in the new innovation economy.”