Stony Brook University Opens Agricultural Consumer Science Center

Written by Vickie Moller  |  18. October 2012

For the past 16 years, Stony Brook University’s Long Island High Technology Incubator (LIHTI) has been supporting new technologically-innovative companies by providing them with a variety of resources and services to improve their opportunity for development and growth.

Located on the Stony Brook University Campus, LIHTI is a 501(C)3 corporation, consisting of two member corporations: The Research Foundation of the State University of New York and the Stony Brook Foundation. Since its inception, the Incubator has housed over 70 companies with a high survival rate upon graduating from the program.

In 2005 SBU opened an additional business incubator in Calverton on Route 25, and now a new Agricultural Consumer Science Center with an additional 15,680 square feet of space designed to enhance Eastern Long Island's agricultural, aquacultural and environmental has been added to that facility.

“It’s the beginning of a new chapter for agriculture on Long Island,” said Yacov Shamash, Stony Brook’s vice president of economic development and dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

“Incubators help companies start up,” he said. “Half of all startup companies fail with the first five years. But historically, members of the National Business Incubator Association report, 87 percent of the firms that graduated from their incubators are still in business, and 84 percent of them remained in the same community.”

With spacious and attractive office facilities, access to both fresh and salt water and in close proximity to Brookhaven National Laboratory, tenants at the new facility enjoy a unique working environment that facilitates the research and development of their products and services  and is compatible with the economic setting of Long Island’s East End.

According to Stony Brook officials, the new center provides local wine and food producers access to shared processing areas, along with guidance and advice from scientists, researchers and other professionals from Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Lab and the state Small Business Development Center.

The facility also offers resources specifically geared toward agricultural producers and small scale food processors, including dry, cold and freezer storing capacity. Joe Gergela, executive director of the Long Island Farm Bureau, said the farm industry can use the help the incubator will provide.

“The industry is struggling because the cost of production on Long Island is greater than any place else in the country,” he said. While farmers’ costs keep going up, the return on their investment is not keeping pace, he said.

The new Calverton facility provides hope for the future of Long Island. LIHTI’s record of success confirms that the companies that grow as a result of being a part of the Incubator create jobs and expand the tax base on Long Island and in New York State.

SOURCES: timesreview.com, lihti.org

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