The Innovation and Discovery Center will be constructed using Stony Brook University’s $60 million appropriation from the 2014 State Budget under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s START-UP NY fiscal development program.
By JD Allen and Lauren Fetter
News Editor, Blogs Editor
Stony Brook University selected an architectural firm to design the Innovation and Discovery Center, a multi-phased project that was announced last year to further start-up companies’ technological innovation at the university’s Research and Development Park, according to the university’s Office of Facilities and Services.
“The process for selecting the design team should be finalized in two weeks,” Louis Rispoli, associate vice president of Facilities and Services, said. The first phase, funded by the 2014 State Budget appropriation, will start the design process in March 2015 for the 200,00 gross-square-feet center.
The Innovation and Discovery Center will be the second building the selected urban-architectural design firm, Mitchell Giurgola Architects, has designed in the 246-acre development park. The firm designed and built the Center for Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology, which is one of the two centers in the development park that specializes in the incubation of scientific and technological research.
However, the Innovation and Discovery Center will be available for businesses that require more space for their projects. These projects will continue to benefit from a tax-free, statewide economic policy. According to a press release offered by the university last April, the $60 million state appropriation was made with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s vision of START-UP NY in mind. The economic policy offers a 10-year grace period in which selected startups do not have to pay any taxes or franchise fees in hopes of stimulating the economy.
Anne-Marie Scheidt, the vice president for Economic Development at Stony Brook University, said the building’s purpose will differ from the two centers in the park and will be for more-developed companies, including graduates from the university’s incubation centers. Graduation from incubation programs is based on financial progress and company performance, though it can differ from program to program.
“It will house companies from the START-UP NY initiative, incubators on Long Island and from outside New York State and internationally,” Scheidt added.
The first phase of the center’s development will include the infrastructure — the electric service, gas service, water service, roadways and walkways — from the monies gained through the appropriation, funding upwards of 70,000 gross-square-feet of the center, Rispoli said.
Yacov Shamash, the vice president for Economic Development, said the center’s design process will take six to nine months. Shamash oversaw the design bid, architectural study and the construction of the center of excellence.
In addition to the appropriation, a $2 million grant from the Long Island Regional Economic Council, which develops long-term plans for economic growth through the efforts of business stakeholders and nongovernmental organizations, will help fund the building’s design and construction, for a total of $62 million devoted to the center’s growth. Approximately 10 percent will be used to furnish the center’s office space and laboratories. Shamash added that he predicts the construction will begin in Spring 2016, and will take up to three years to get the building “up and running.”
Currently, the university’s incubation programs “have a long list of applicants” from the Long Island High Technology Incubator, the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology and the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center with no place to put them, Shamash said. “Filling the center will be not a problem,” he added.
Like the incubators, the Innovation and Discovery Center will only accept companies that match the university’s overall mission of economic development and producing state-of-the-art technology, including companies in software, energy, health care, among others, Shamash said. He added that once businesses graduate, thus “cutting themselves from the umbilical cord” of the incubator programs, the companies will probably remain with Stony Brook University at the center.
“Stony Brook University is currently in the early stages of the project and no specific startup companies have been identified as the first occupants,” Rispoli said. “Additionally, we are in the final stages of a competitive bid process for the design of the project and expect the bid to be completed shortly, pending the final procurement processes.”