Dec. 21, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez
The Long Island City Partnership was awarded $100,000 from Governor Cuomo’s office to help turn the area into a regional hub for the sciences.
The organization will use the award, announced last week, to develop a business plan for the growth and development of a life sciences and research innovation cluster in Long Island City.
Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the LICP, said the award is the result of several components coming together. The city and state, for instance, have aimed to bolster the life sciences industry throughout New York for several years, and the LICP itself discovered—in creating its comprehensive plan—that much interest exists in having such a sector in Long Island City.
“It really is about creating a cluster,” Lusskin said. “In New York we have all this great research going on, which gets commercialized elsewhere. If you’re going to have a real innovation hub, you need to have a means of production.”
Lusskin said the plan will take a look at the feasibility of a life sciences hub in Long Island City, and will identify components that are needed to bring the sector to the area, including space, price, and other required characteristics. Research will be conducted by a number of industry experts and local stakeholders.
Biomedical labs, collaborative tech studios where health research takes place, and office and research space for life science companies are just some of many items that make up a typical life sciences cluster.
Work on creating the plan is expected to begin right away, with hopes of having a final document delivered after several months. “This is not a multi-year project,” Lusskin said about the development plan. “There’s a lot of good work to build on.”
The LICP project was one of 121 projects in the New York City regional area that received funding during the current round of awards. A total of $64.8 million was granted to projects in the area.
The LICP also received $100,000 from the state in 2015 to conduct a study on the neighborhood’s changes from industrial to more residential and commercial.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation says the New York metropolitan area has the largest biomedical workforce in the country, and has the world’s largest concentration of academic institutions with major medical centers attached to them. Over 120 life science companies exist throughout the city already.
In 2016, the state announced a $650 million initiative to grow a world-class life science research cluster in New York, and expand the state’s ability to commercialize the scientific research produced, which would help grow New York’s economy.