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Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus

Now entering its final stages, the evolving COVID-19 pandemic continues to reshape the world around us, and myriad Long Island forces – large and small, corporate and nonprofit, industrial and academic – have risen to the challenge. Innovate Long Island presents Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus as a running journal of this region’s resourceful response to the greatest global challenge since World War II. Stay healthy, dear readers.     Numbers getting ugly across…


Stuff we’re (mostly virtually) thinking about going to

  January 22 HIA-LI 43rd Annual Meeting and Legislative Program  9-10:30 a.m., online  The Hauppauge Industrial Association of Long Island presents its annual meeting and legislative program, converted to Zoom format but still focused on local and state legislative agendas for the coming year, featuring an assortment of regional officeholders in a group discussion moderated by HIA-LI Board Chairman Joe Campolo. Ticket prices, registration and more information available here. January 22 LIMBA Virtual Meeting: Insights…


With ambitious agenda, Cuomo goes even harder left

By GREGORY ZELLER // Online sports betting, legalized marijuana and a “fight” against the federal government for overdue COVID-19 compensation – against what figures to be a relatively friendly Congress – highlight Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plans for 2021. In a typically shoot-for-the-moon State of the State address delivered Monday, the governor outlined an annual agenda overflowing with healthcare initiatives – including comprehensive telehealth legislation, the creation of the nation’s first “public health corps” and fair…


FDA: Applied DNA’s assay kit can detect UK mutant

By GREGORY ZELLER // Only two COVID-19 test kits earning U.S. Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization can detect the mutant “UK strain” – and one of them is produced on Long Island. Applied DNA Science’s Linea COVID-19 Assay Kit has been identified by the FDA as “potentially able to identify certain SARS-CoV-2 mutations, including a mutation found in the UK,” the company said this week. That’s a direct reference to B.1.1.7, the faster-spreading…


Hot start, icy pivot: A pizza man’s pandemic, on wheels

By KATE FULLAM // While large-scale manufacturers like General Mills produced huge mounds of Totino’s Pizza Rolls to feed homebound masses during the pandemic, a Long Island-based wood-fired frozen pizza business was growing also – in the kitchen, and the parking lot, of the East End Food Institute. Homeslice Pizza sold thousands of frozen pies as COVID-19 spread across the region, delivering directly to clients quarantined at home across the Hamptons. Many of these were…


Startup is a little misty, and very serious, about COVID

By GREGORY ZELLER // A common antiseptic applied to scrapes and burns swirls inside a new, food-safe disinfecting spray that, according to one Long Island startup, is virtually 100 percent effective against COVID-19. Meet AVAST (“for antiviral aerosolized sterilization technology”), the first anti-viral product by the fresh-out-of-the-oven Wela Group, a Huntington-based, R&D-focused enterprise applying new science and technologies to innovative sterilization systems. Developed directly “in response to the coronavirus pandemic,” AVAST combines hydrogen peroxide and…


Island innovators mourn loss of LIFT leader Muscarella

By RAY DONNELLY and JULIE ALLEGRETTI // The light switches have been off at the Long Island Forum for Technology for years, but sadly, the brightest light of LIFT is gone out forever as Diane Muscarella passed suddenly on Dec. 27. As a single mother, Diane earned degrees at Nassau Community College and Hofstra University while launching a career in marketing. She was a fixture at LIFT for years, and in her role as director…


Busy pharma manufacturer to expand, again, in Suffolk

By GREGORY ZELLER // A Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency incentives package will spark the $15 million renovation of a vacant Hauppauge property. The IDA has issued preliminary approval of a tax-abatement deal for Piping Rock Health Products, a Ronkonkoma-based LLC that – in addition to several other operations across the country – already boasts 11 Suffolk County facilities, and will now add a 12th on Davids Drive. Piping Rock – a 2011 startup that…


After rocky 2020, Island startups set to rock in 2021

By DAVID HAMILTON // What a challenging and tumultuous year! If you’d told the December 2019 me what was going to transpire, I’d have called you crazy – and suggested you’d read one too many sci-fi novels by our favorite Innovate LI editor. There was no way to see this coming: a never-ending pandemic, an unprecedented economic collapse, social upheaval on a national scale, political turmoil unlike anything we’ve ever seen, endless Zoom calls, three…


With Next Cryo, a startup that’s really cooling its jets

By GREGORY ZELLER // The Stony Brook University scientist who came in from the cold is getting some serious chills – and this time, he’s really got something to cryo about. Slowa Solovyov, a multi-patented, 23-year veteran of U.S. Department of Energy collaborations, is diving into the coldest environments man can create on a quest to improve quantum-level efficiencies. The longtime SBU adjunct professor of electrical engineering is flipping the switch on Next Cryo, a…


As pandemic passes, expect tech to get back on track

By MITCH MAIMAN // To say the least, 2020 was an extremely unusual year. But the current disrupted environment – COVID has obviously had substantive impacts on our personal and professional lives – calls to mind the prescient words of Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese philosopher and military strategist who noted, “In chaos, there is opportunity.” The tech-innovation world has seen our ways of working totally disturbed. For longer than I’ve been in the workforce,…


LIMHOF clips art with the galas of Christmas past

By GREGORY ZELLER // If you’re not too busy New Year’s Eve, maybe you’d like to hang out with Billy Joel, LL Cool J and Joan Jett. Your seat is reserved, with the Long Island Music Hall of Fame hitting the pause button on its biannual induction ceremonies and presenting instead “The Long Island Music Hall of Fame Best of the Awards Galas,” a 90-minute highlight real of past induction ceremonies hosted by guitar master…


Northwell to lead Island vaccination plan, distribution

By GREGORY ZELLER // New York State will establish Regional Vaccination Hubs to streamline the Phase 2 administration of more plentiful COVID-19 vaccines. Scheduled to commence in “early 2021,” according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, Phase 2 will involve the distribution of larger numbers of vaccines to more diverse communities, including essential workers and at-risk community members. In Phase 1, limited supplies of biopharma giant Pfizer’s freshly minted COVID-19 vaccine are primarily targeting frontline healthcare…


In ThermoLift, SBU commercialization done right

By GREGORY ZELLER // The shining star of Stony Brook University’s commercialization ecosystem is all growed up – and ready to reshape the global heating-and-cooling landscape. As a client of Stony Brook’s Clean Energy Business Incubator Program and a resident of the university’s Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center, 2012 startup ThermoLift – co-founded by current Director Paul Schwartz and international engineering stalwart Peter Hofbauer – has advanced the principles of the extreme-temperature Vuilleumier thermodynamic…


Targeting healthcare workers, LI vaccinations begin

By GREGORY ZELLER // Americans remain split about receiving a COVID-19 shot – but frontline healthcare workers are squarely in the vaccinate-me-now category. Pfizer’s hastily approved COVID-19 vaccine is now coursing through American bloodstreams, and as the earliest shipments arrived this week on Long Island, workers throughout Island hospitals and healthcare systems were gratefully rolling up their sleeves. Phase One of the State University of New York’s COVID-19 vaccine-distribution operation commenced Tuesday, with SUNY hospitals…