By GREGORY ZELLER //
Innovation is always on display at the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology, but it truly shined this week, when the stars of Stony Brook University’s economic-development universe soaked up some spotlight.
The university’s fourth-annual Incubator Showcase, a one-day ingenuity bazaar highlighting Stony Brook’s complex commercialization ecosystem, filled CEWIT with imagination Wednesday, as residents and clients of SBU’s myriad incubators and business-development programs shared their progress with potential investors, fellow innovators and other impressionable – and notably impressed – visitors.
Among the enthralled was SBU Associate Vice President for Technology Partnerships Peter Donnelly, who noted dozens of exhibits “ranging from biotechnology to healthcare IT to cybersecurity, and then food” – a cornucopia of creation that bodes well for the university’s technology-transfer and business-development efforts.
“The breadth of innovation across the incubator companies will sometimes spin your head as you move from one display to the next,” Donnelly told Innovate LI. “But that’s an indication of larger opportunity across multiple industries.”
That breadth was provided by the multitude of specific disciplines championed by SBU’s many incubators, centers of excellence and commercialization programs. The Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center, the Clean Energy Business Incubation Program, the Business Incubator at Calverton, the Long Island High Technology Incubator, CEWIT and a host of other Stony Brook business-development programs sponsored the showcase, with program managers encouraging their clients and residents to show up and strut their stuff.
Seizing every promotional opportunity is a frontline theme at the AERTC and CEBIP, which were both “very well represented” at the Incubator Showcase, according to David Hamilton, executive director of the clean-energy business incubator and operations director at the advanced energy center.
Hamilton’s clients heeded that sage advice: All five of the AERTC’s tenants presented at the showcase, as did 14 of 15 CEBIP clients (the 15th, Hoplite Power, only joined the business-incubation program a few weeks ago, Hamilton noted, and its principals are currently overseas meeting with potential manufacturers).
The otherwise total participation in the Incubator Showcase reinforced the value of the thriving SBU business-development programs and the event itself, Hamilton said.
“We are incredibly engaged with our client companies, and very involved in their promotional efforts,” he added. “And they see strong value in programs like this.”
All told, 44 companies presented at the showcase, representing various stages of business development – from please-fund-our-prototype to fully commercialized.
In addition to the clean-energy and sustainability efforts marking the CEBIP and AERTC entries, Stony Brook’s cutting-edge biology lab work was on full display – SBU’s Center for Biotechnology was also an event sponsor – as were many food-and-beverage enterprises, hailing largely from SBU’s foodie-friendly Calverton incubator.
The showcase also featured companies that formed outside the SBU system but brought their efforts to Stony Brook – proof-positive that the university’s incubation ecosystem has become a regional business-formation powerhouse, according to SBU Vice President for Research Richard Reeder.
“The showcase is a great reflection of many of the programs underway to continue improving both our own technology commercialization of SBU innovation, as well as engaging and supporting the larger innovation ecosystem,” Reeder added.