No. 477: In which the Suffolk IDA incentivizes and the double helix debuts – plus, sticky buns for all!

Robot chicken: He's not the bravest droid in the galaxy, but C-3PO -- played by actor Anthony Daniels, who turns 74 today -- has appeared in more "Star Wars" movies and TV shows than any other character.


Just a word or two: Welcome to Friday, dear readers, as we wrap up another busy workweek and look forward to another well-earned weekend.

It’s Feb. 21 out there, and before we begin, please speak up – today is International Mother Language Day, the U.N.’s multicultural salute to linguistic diversity.

For the bun of it: Sticky situation.

Going to extremes: Today is also National Grain-Free Day (a big one for the low-carb set) and National Sticky Buns Day (not so much).

And give a deserving someone a hug on National Caregivers Day, always the third Friday in February, honoring healthcare professionals who deliver long-term and hospice care.

Stop, thief: Today is also the 162nd anniversary of the world’s first electric burglar alarm, installed in Boston on Feb. 21, 1858.

Dental record: Dentist Lucy Hobbs became the first woman to obtain a DDS degree from an American university on this date in 1866.

Hobbs was required to attend only one semester at the Ohio College of Dental Surgery, thanks to credit earned during years of private practice (after initially being rejected by the college because she was a woman).

Lab work: The first U.S. institutional medical laboratory, the Hoagland Laboratory, opened in Brooklyn on this date in 1887.

Physician and founder Cornelius Hoagland sunk $150,000 of his own money, including $100,000 for construction and a $50,000 endowment, into what was also America’s first bacteriological lab.

Fizz, fizz:: Oh, what a relief it is.

Plop, plop: Alka-Seltzer, the all-purpose rumbly tummy treatment, made its commercial debut on Feb. 21, 1931.

Doubling down: And they wouldn’t make their game-changing announcement for another week or so, but according to the story, controversial scientist James Watson and his longtime lab partner, Francis Crick, discovered DNA’s double-helix structure on this date in 1953.

Bowl of cherries: Syndicated newspaper columnist and beloved American humorist Erma Bombeck (1927-1996) – who also authored more than a dozen books, including several bestsellers – would be 93 years old today.

Nina Simone: The high priestess of soul.

Also born on Feb. 21 were colorful English chemist John Mercer (1791-1866), who invented the mercerization process for textiles and was a color-photography pioneer; French fashion icon Hubert de Givenchy (1927-2018); jazz and R&B great (and civil rights crusader) Nina Simone (1933-2003); and “Star Wars” actor Anthony Daniels (born 1946), the only actor to appear in all nine of the “Skywalker Saga” films, as fussy droid C-3PO.

Going up: And take a bow, William McDonough – the American architect, environmental engineer and pioneer of the “upcycling” movement (which takes mere recycling to the next level) turns 69 today.

Wish these and all the other Feb. 21 innovators a happy birthday at We’ll take the presents – story tips and calendar items, all shapes and sizes, please and thank you.


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Sports model: Another week, another new vertical for supply-chain authentication specialist Applied DNA Sciences.

Just days after announcing DNA strand-producing spinoff company LineaRX would expand an existing collaboration with Italian partner Takis Biotech to take the fight to the dreaded 2019-nCoV coronavirus, the Stony Brook-based biotech is making its first-ever foray into the dietary supplements market with a new, multiyear deal that applies the DNA-based CertainT authentication solution to products containing Nitrosigine, a “leading sports supplement” produced by Westchester-based Nutrition21.

Nitrosigine (a “bonded arginine-silicate,” for those keeping score) has earned FDA New Dietary Ingredient status and is currently incorporated into some 250 consumer products. That places a premium on traceability and authenticity, according to Nutrition 21 VP Bill Levi, and led the manufacturer straight to Applied DNA. “The scientific evidence provided by [the] CertainT platform will support these principles with verification of product compliance through the supply chain,” Levi said Wednesday.

Running start: A leg up for minority- and women-owned business enterprises.

MWBE, start your engines: Albany’s 2020 Regional MWBE Opportunities Expo Series, designed to encourage minority- and women-owned startups across the state, will get rolling next month with an all-day event on Long Island.

Sponsored by the Empire State Development Corp’s Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development and supported by other state agencies and local partners, the expo series will feature panel discussions, MWBE certification workshops, details on the state’s MWBE Business Builder Boot Camp, access to regional Small Business Development Centers, expert government-contract procurement tips and other advice designed to help women and minorities start their own businesses, and succeed.

The series is scheduled to kick off March 20 at Farmingdale State College, with other expos scheduled throughout the year at Binghamton University, the University at Buffalo and Mohawk Valley Community College. More details on next month’s Farmingdale State expo right here.



Incentivized: They’re feeling motivated at the Suffolk County IDA, which is busily fortifying county employment on an incentives-package hot streak.

Hail to the chief: One of the hardest workers in all of Long Island innovation explains why the COO is usually an organization’s most vital cog.

Easy does it: Love this newsletter? Us, too. Help us help you by sharing this one with your fellow innovators – and urge them to subscribe for free, already. It’s not hard.



The state approves new Long Island-based cardiac labs; the nation approves new Long Island-based craft-beer awards.



Innovate LI’s inbox overrunneth with inspirational innovations from all North American corners. This week’s brightest out-of-towners:

From Wisconsin: Fitchburg-based biotech JangoBio leaps forward with sustainable stem-cell based therapies promising “complete hormone restoration.”

From Texas: Houston-based William P. Hobby Airport hastens international arrivals and departures with face-recognition biometric tech.

From Georgia: Atlanta-based IoT developer Digital Matter earns critical Verizon certifications with battery-powered global asset-tracking devices.



Kaitlin Friedman

+ Kaitlin Friedman has joined Woodbury-based SterlingRisk Insurance as alternative market leader in the SterlingRisk Programs Department. She previously served as an account executive for HUB International in Woodbury.

+ ERASE Racism has announced two new hires: Nadia Jean-François, formerly a middle school teacher in Florida, is now the education equity coordinator, and Steve Glassroth, formerly an attorney in Alabama and Georgia, is now director of Housing Policy & Initiatives.

+ Jeremy Musella has joined Uniondale-based Forchelli Deegan Terrana as an associate in the Corporate/Mergers & Acquisitions and Veterinary practice groups. He previously served as an associate at Garden City-based Cullen and Dykman.

+ Mark Nuccio has been elected treasurer of the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association in Huntington Station. He is the founder and partner of Bethpage-based Design Edge Group.

+ Sean Miller has been elected treasurer of the Literacy Nassau Board of Directors in Wantagh. He is the store manager for TD Bank in Floral Park.

+ Islandia-based Lewis Johs Avallone Aviles has announced the promotion of two new partners: Amy Bedell, formerly senior counsel, and Annemarie Jones, formerly an associate.



Breathe normally: There are better ways to deal with 2019-nCoV.

Healthy start: Successful startups must first learn these 10 valuable lessons.

Sick days: How companies around the globe are coping with the coronavirus.

Feeling better: How Big Tech is changing hospital operations (for the better).

Curing what ails you: The healthcare sector is just one of the cutting-edge industries tapping into the HIPAA- and HITECH-compliant IT services provided by Webair, one of the amazing firms that support Innovate LI. Check them out.