A gloved hand holding a tube and syringe in a lab.

ESD Announces First Round of Applications Available for New York Fund for Innovation Research and Scientific Talent

Empire State Development today announced that applications are now available for the New York Fund for Innovation in Research and Scientific Talent (NY FIRST), a $15 million medical school capital funding program to encourage recruitment and retention of exceptional life science researchers focused on translational research by supporting the establishment or upgrading of their laboratories.

“As New York rapidly emerges as a world-class hub for life sciences research and commercialization, it is vital that we continue to attract world-class talent to lead the way,” said ESD President, CEO, and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “NY FIRST will help ensure that New York’s medical institutions remain state-of-the-art, competitive spaces where top-notch researchers can do this groundbreaking work.”

NY FIRST makes a maximum grant of $1 million to eligible institutional applicants to modernize, renovate and upgrade laboratory facilities to attract world-class scientists to medical schools in New York State. Program grant awards will be made through an annual competitive grant solicitation, conducted for up to three years or until funds are fully committed.  Grantees are required to provide $2 in matching funds for every $1 of NY FIRST program assistance.

The scientific talent recruited or retained to head these new or upgraded labs must demonstrate a history of translational research and actively pursuing research on an innovative solution for an unmet clinical need. The researcher is required to demonstrate a clear path to commercialization with the potential for significant life sciences economic development benefits in New York State, such as increased patent applications and patentable discoveries; increased recruitment/retention of medical school faculty focused on translational research; or an increase in the number of life sciences jobs created or retained. 

The NY FIRST application may be downloaded here. This round of applications is due Friday, June 15, 2018.

In the FY 2018 budget, New York State enacted a $620 million initiative to spur the growth of a world-class life science research cluster in New York, as well as expand the state’s ability to commercialize this research and grow the economy.

This multi-faceted initiative includes $100 million to expand the Excelsior Jobs Program Tax Credit to the life sciences industry, $100 million for a life sciences research and development refundable tax credit program, and $320 million in other forms of investment including state capital grants to support the development of wet-lab and innovation space, operating support and investment capital for early stage life science companies that leverages an additional match of at least $100 million from private sector.

The Life Science sector encompasses the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, biomedical technologies, life systems technologies, and includes organizations and institutions that devote the majority of their efforts to the various stages of research, development, technology transfer and commercialization. Every day, firms in this sector are developing new medical and pharmaceutical breakthroughs that have the potential to save lives, whether through new therapies or the early detection of diseases like autism and cancer. These firms are also making significant advancements in the realms of agriculture and environmental biotechnologies, helping create a cleaner and more sustainable future.

By strengthening incentives, investing in the facilities, and improving access to talent and expertise, New York will significantly increase its share of industry-funded research and development, support the commercialization of existing academic research, and usher in the next generation of advanced technologies. Beyond the advancements in science, this initiative will position New York as a magnet for emerging manufacturing based enterprises, bolstering regional economies and creating thousands of jobs.

About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NEW YORK,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov  and www.esd.ny.gov.




Amy Varghese (ESD) | [email protected] | (212) 803-3740

ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313