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Stony Brook to Team Up with Long Island Powerhouse Labs

The Solenoidal Tracker at Brookhaven National Laboratory's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. (PHOTO CREDIT: BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LABORATORY)

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) announced a new partnership among Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Jan. 10.  This new endeavor hopes to create new, high paying jobs to focus on the advancement of technology on Long Island.

“Long Island is home to three of the greatest research institutions in the country, and by combining their efforts in the development of cutting edge research and technologies, these institutions have the potential to create a jobs juggernaut for Long Island,” Schumer stated in a press release. “The collaboration and cooperation between the three institutions will be an attractive source of investment from both the public and private sectors.”

The action comes during a time of an economic downturn and a standstill in the job market, especially on Long Island.

Schumer plans on inviting members from the White House Regional Innovation Cluster’s Working group to meet with representatives from each of the laboratories.

Sam Aronson, director of Brookhaven National Laboratory, sees the problem of funding to be the toughest roadblock for this endeavor.

“It will be up to the alliance partners to demonstrate to funding agencies and the taxpayers that investment in its research programs will help answer some of the world’s most pressing issues and contribute to the New York State economy by attracting entrepreneurs and private companies seeking to commercialize on its discoveries and ultimately create jobs,” Aronson said.

According to Aronson, support from local elected officials, such as New York State Senator Kenneth LaValle and Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko, will be crucial.

Jim Simmons, the former math department chairman and billionaire hedge fund mogul, will also be working on the project.

In 1947, Brookhaven National Laboratory was started in Upton, N.Y. It is the home to about 3,000 employees that include scientists and engineers. Most of the research done here at the lab is in conjunction with the goals of the U.S Department of Energy, a main supporter of the work being done at the Laboratory. Some of the major facilities include a Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, which is more commonly known as a particle collider used in the study of nuclear physics.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory was founded in 1890, and has done extensive research in fields such as genetics and cancer, whereas Brookhaven National Laboratory focuses on chemistry and physics. This collaboration is one of many new ventures to start connecting the fields of sciences together.

Cold Spring Harbor’s Director, Bruce Stillman sees this venture to be more than just an economic development initiative.

“It is an initiative to make Long Island a better powerhouse for research than it is now, building upon the already highly recognized and in some cases world leading strengths of all three institutions,” Stillman said.

President Samuel L. Stanley Jr.,  also believes that this is exactly the right move in order to push research being done in the right direction.

“Strategic investment at the federal and state levels will absolutely move us forward as we pursue the type of leading edge discovery that will result in innovations that will save lives, and technology transfer that will drive the economy, create good jobs, and help create new public and private investment opportunities to Long Island, New York State and the United States,” Stanley said in a statement.

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