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Senator Ken LaValle Secures $3.5 Million State Grant For Agriculture Consumer Science Center At SBU Business Incubator

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Senator Ken LaValle Secures $3.5 Million State Grant For Agriculture Consumer Science Center At SBU Business Incubator

Economic Development Assistance Program grant to focus on aquaculture, agriculture and environmental technologies

 – Through the support and efforts of New York State Senator Ken LaValle, Stony Brook University (SBU) will receive a $3.5 million state grant from the New York State Economic Development Assistance Program (NYS EDAP) for the construction of an approximate 8,500 square foot Agriculture Consumer Science Center at SBU’s Calverton Business Incubator.  SBU established the Calverton Business Incubator in 2005 with a focus on the development of aquaculture, agriculture and environmental technologies. The Agriculture Consumer Science Center will be designed to complement the existing 15,680 square foot business incubator.  Funding will be administered by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY).    

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Calverton Incubator

The establishment of the Agriculture Consumer Science Center at the Calverton Business Incubator will permit regional wine and agricultural producers and local entrepreneurs access to state-of-the-art shared processing areas. In addition, they will have the ability to collaborate with researchers, scientists, and professionals at Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the NYS Small Business Development Center, which will be a valued resource in moving a product from concept to commercialization.  


“This is a unique opportunity for regional wine and food producers to develop new, marketable consumer items and enhance their product lines,” said Senator LaValle.  “I am pleased to have secured the state funding needed to set this project in motion.  I believe this is a worthwhile investment that will help boost our local economy, create new jobs, and increase our ability to remain competitive in the global marketplace.”

The Center will house fully functional resources for agricultural producers and small scale food processors in both hot process and dry process functions.  Dry storage, cold storage, and freezer storage units will be available on site, as well as a product development area with a viewing section for demonstration purposes.  Producers will also be afforded laboratory space with ductless fume hoods and a microbiology lab for research and development.  A loading dock will serve both the new addition and the existing building.  

“The ever-increasing cost of farming and regulatory constraints necessitates farmers to come up with strategies to remain economically viable.  The development of value added products to their agricultural commodities is one such strategy; so we welcome the establishment of the center which will provide the necessary resources to promote new business ideas resulting in a dramatically increased likelihood for success,” said Joseph Gergela, Executive Director of the Long Island Farm Bureau.    

“The creation of the Agricultural Consumer Science Center will be a true asset to Long Island’s agricultural entrepreneurs; a very strategic initiative to building business opportunities in a challenged economy,” said Stony Brook University President Dr. Samuel L. Stanley, Jr. “We commend Senator LaValle for his creative vision as we work together with New York State to build economic opportunities supported by research, education and discovery.”

Ehasz Giacalone Architects P.C. of Farmingdale, NY has been chosen to assist with the programming and design of the Agriculture Consumer Science Center. The schematic design of the facility is currently underway and is expected to be complete by the end of February. The project is expected to be let for public bid in April 2010 with construction scheduled to commence July 2010. 

The 15,680-square-foot incubator Calverton Business Incubator is owned and operated by Stony Brook University. The Calverton facility includes offices, conference rooms, and laboratories with both fresh and salt-water access, and houses the satellite office of the Small Business Development Center at Stony Brook. The Incubator supports entrepreneurial companies by providing access to resources and strategies for a period of 3-5 years in an effort to foster the research and development of products and/or services for introduction into the marketplace. 

Part of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook University encompasses 200 buildings on 1,600 acres. In the 50+ years since its founding, the University has grown tremendously, now with nearly 24,000 students and 2,100 faculty and is recognized as one of the nation’s important centers of learning and scholarship. It is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, and ranks among the top 100 national universities in America and among the top 50 public national universities in the country according to the 2008 U.S. News & World Report survey. Considered one of the “flagship” campuses in the SUNY system, Stony Brook University co-manages Brookhaven National Laboratory, joining an elite group of universities, including Berkeley, University of Chicago, Cornell, MIT, and Princeton, that run federal research and development laboratories. SBU is a driving force of the Long Island economy, with an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion, generating nearly 60,000 jobs, and accounts for nearly 4% of all economic activity in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and roughly 7.5 percent of total jobs in Suffolk County.

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