ESD Announces $150,000 Grant for New Bioengineering Laboratory at New York Institute of Technology

June 6, 2018

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced a $150,000 grant to New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) to develop a Research and Technology Innovation Bioengineering Laboratory at NYIT’s Old Westbury campus in Long Island. The project, endorsed by the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council (LIREDC), will support advancements in the life sciences in bioengineering, artificial intelligence, sensors and biomedicine.

“New York State’s $150,000 grant to NYIT’s new Research and Technology Innovation Bioengineering Laboratory will support Long Island’s steady emergence as a hub for life sciences research and advancements in biotechnology,” said ESD President, CEO, and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “New York State’s future lies in its well-educated, skilled workforce, and today’s investment is an investment in our tomorrow.”

The new lab will be housed in NYIT’s Harry Schure Hall, with state-of-the art equipment that will enable specialized research into micro- and nano-scale biosensors and biomaterials to address outstanding questions in the life sciences and human health. Researchers will use a paste extrusion 3-D printer to synthesize biomedical devices and structural biomaterials for enhanced tissue healing. A UV-vis spectrophotometer will facilitate work to develop a highly sensitive biosensor for early detection of fatal diseases like cancer and HIV, and a fluorescent microscope will help researchers understand critical elements of cellular attachment, bioactivity, gene expressions, and therapeutic efficiency.

The new Research and Technology Innovation Bioengineering Laboratory was awarded a $150,000 grant through Round VII of the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative. ESD has awarded NYIT School of Engineering and Computing Sciences funds totaling more than $1 million in support of the school’s Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center (ETIC), a Cyber Security laboratory and technology incubator, STEM curriculum training facilities and funds to expand engineering classes and labs.  NYIT was also designated as an official New York State Certified Business Incubator.

Interim Dean Babak D. Beheshti, Ph.D., said: “NYIT’s purpose is to prepare the next generation for the jobs and opportunities of the future. Our school’s mission is to be the ‘go to place’ for outstanding engineering talent.”

Azhar Ilyas, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said: “Integration of engineering and biology at the very small scale can offer tremendous opportunities for solving important problems in health sciences and medicine.”

Long Island Regional Economic Development Council (LIREDC) Co-Chairs, Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz and Long Island Association President Kevin Law, said: “The LIREDC has consistently supported a thriving biotech and life sciences corridor in Long Island, where some of New York’s greatest minds come together to tackle the greatest questions in medicine and human health. This $150,000 grant for a new Research and Technology Innovation Bioengineering Laboratory at NYIT, endorsed by the LIREDC, builds on the momentum we’re seeing across the region.”

Funding from New York State builds on the Governor's efforts to foster a thriving biotech corridor among major institutions on Long Island, including Stony Brook University, Northwell Health,  Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Hofstra University, Broad Hollow Bio Science Park, and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.

Bioengineering has become a major focus of research and study at NYIT. The institution now offers a bioengineering master’s degree, and researchers are pursuing projects that include disease diagnosis and monitoring, patient care and assistance, and other bio-medical applications. In addition, faculty and students are creating nanofabricated and 3-D printed nano-scale devices for applications in sensing, therapeutics, and tissue engineering.

New York State's $620 Million Life Science Initiative
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. This includes 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 the 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 the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative is a key component of Governor Cuomo's approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources.
After seven rounds of the REDC process, more than $5.4 billion has been awarded to more than 6,300 job creation and community development projects consistent with each regions strategic plans, projecting to create and retain more than 220,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit

About Empire State Development
Empire State Development is New York’s chief economic development agency ( 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 NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, please visit and

About NYIT
NYIT (New York Institute of Technology) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 10,000 students in programs and campuses in New York (Manhattan and Old Westbury, Long Island) and Arkansas as well as China, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates. NYIT sponsors 13 NCAA Division II programs.

NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. More than 100,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit


Amy Varghese | [email protected] | 212-803-3740
ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313