Senator Kaplan Announces New Funding For Innovative Small Business Incubators on Long Island and Around New York State


**Download hi-res image and video of the press conference here**

"Centers of Excellence" and "Centers for Advanced Technology" bring together higher education, national research & development infrastructure, and entrepreneurs to solve problems, create jobs, and grow New York's economy

In last three years, centers helped create/retain 9,816 jobs, and generate $2.57 billion in economic impact, with a 25:1 return on investment

New funding included in recently enacted NY state budget will allow these world-class innovation centers to help more New York entrepreneurs turn ideas into businesses and find innovative, marketable solutions to problems like climate change and COVID-19

CARLE PLACE, NY (May 6, 2021) - Today, NYS Senator Anna M. Kaplan (D-North Hills) joined Stony Brook University (SBU) President Maura McInnis, SBU Vice-President for Research Dr. Richard Reeder, Paul Schwartz, Co-founder and Director of ThermoLift Inc., and Eugene Sayan, Founder and CEO of Softheon at the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT) on the SBU campus to highlight the incredible work being done at New York's Centers of Excellence and Centers for Advanced Technology, and announce new funding for the centers that was included in the recently enacted New York State budget.

Senator Anna M. Kaplan said "As Chair of the Committee on Commerce, Economic Development, and Small Business, it's my duty in the State budget process to make sure that the State is funding smart and efficient programs that create jobs, grow our economy, and deliver real return on investment for the taxpayers. The Centers of Excellence (COE) and Centers for Advanced Technology (CAT) deliver on all of these promises, and the companies that they're nurturing aren't just growing and diversifying our State's economy, they're literally changing the world with their groundbreaking products and services. I was proud to succeed in my fight to deliver nearly $2 million in new funding to help these centers continue to grow and thrive, and I'm going to continue to push for the state to make even greater investments in these centers in years to come."

Across New York State, there are 15 Centers for Advanced Technology, and 14 Centers of Excellence, high-tech business incubators that are each located on a University campus, and each focused on a unique specialization. The centers provide invaluable mentorship to entrepreneurs and existing small businesses, bringing in experts and technological infrastructure that one can only find in a university setting, and connecting these small businesses with investors and the private sector to truly nurture a business from idea to industry. Each Center is funded with an additional 1:1 match by a university or corporate sponsor, so every dollar in State funding leverages an additional dollar in investment, thereby doubling the impact.

In the 2021-2022 enacted New York State Budget, the Centers received $25,584,325 in funding, an increase of $1,991,160 over the prior year, and $6,584,325 more than had been proposed in the Executive's budget earlier this year.

According to Empire State Development and Stony Brook University data, in the last three years, the Centers have helped create or retain 9,816 jobs, including 2,518 on Long Island, and generated $2.57 billion in economic impact, including $1.1 billion on Long Island, with a minimum 25:1 return on investment.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Centers around the state were involved in more than 81 COVID related projects, addressing testing shortages through research into high-sensitivity and high-volume testing equipment, and developing therapies and vaccine candidates that are currently in clinical trial for potential use in countries that lack the refrigeration and logistic infrastructure required by the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Stony Brook University President Maura McInnis said "The Centers were developed by New York State to allow free flowing collaboration between university researchers, faculty, and students with innovators and entrepreneurs. They have created thousands of jobs on Long Island and across the state in fields taking on some of the world’s greatest challenges, including COVID-19, and they will be vital in a post-pandemic recovery.  We are grateful to Senator Kaplan for championing New York State’s continued investment into these vital and successful programs."

Stony Brook University Vice-President for Research Dr. Richard Reeder said "Because of Senator Kaplan's steadfast support of the NY State Centers of Excellence and Centers of Advanced Technology, Stony Brook can continue to provide the scientific and engineering expertise that will ensure New York's leadership in clean energy, information technology, and biotechnology."

Paul Schwartz, Co-founder and Director of ThermoLift Inc., said "Through our affiliation with the Energy Center at Stony Brook University, ThermoLift has been the beneficiary of excellence. Excellence in execution with access to the engineering community for scientific validation, to the business community for capital investment, from the State and National energy efficiency grant funding in DOE and NYSERDA and from energy providers across the world. The Senator's support of the Centers for Excellence is a step toward continued economic growth and the future of our local, State and National global competitiveness."

Eugene Sayan, Founder and CEO of Softheon, said "In collaboration with Stony Brook University, CEWIT has been and will be critical to Softheon’s unprecedented growth in making healthcare affordable and accessible for 150 million Americans enrolled through Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), Medicaid, Medicare, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other publicly-sponsored health programs."