State of New York to launch homeland security technology incubator

Published 13 March 2006

Thanks to the efforts of New York State Senator Michael Balboni, a Long Island Republican, New York will follow other states in actively recruiting homeland security companies by offering them incubating services and climate. Balboni has the support of the Long Island congressional delegation - which includes Representative Peter King (R-New York), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. The goal is to build a 65,000 square-foot facility in Bethpage to house twenty mid-size companies, including anchor tenant Northrop Grumman. The companies selected will develop sensors, detectors, and other equipment for first responders and anti-terror use. Balboni is negotiating to win an additional $15 million to create more space for technology testing at Francis S. Gabreski Airport in West Hampton. The Bethpage facility will break ground in about six months and be open for business in about eighteen months. It is expected to generate nearly 10,000 jobs in New York over the next ten years. Balboni said the facility will include test beds specially designed to accommodate technology demonstrations. Eventually there will be a Web site too, where technology developers can help first responders sort through the different technology choices.

Balboni is chairman of the State Senate’s Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs.

Other states have been engaged in similar efforts. The Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology (CCAT) is a San Diego-California-based nonprofit providing grants and other assistance to companies doing homeland security research and development [see HSDW 3/10/06 for a write-up on one of CCAT’s portfolio companies]. The State of Illinois launched a homeland security technology initiative worth some $75 million, which includes a grant program to help homeland security businesses with patents, legal matters, marketing, and capital investments (there is also an unofficial name for it: “Silicon Prairie”). In 2003 Maryland’s Anne Arundel County began funding the Chesapeake Innovation Center, a public-private partnership supporting and incubating companies making biodefense medicines, computer security software, and more. There are at least six other such incubators in the United States. They have all come into existence in the last six years, with funding by governments, universities, and private sources.

-read more in Caitlin Harrington’s CQ report (sub. req.); read more about Chesapeake Innovation Center at organization Web site; see information about CCAT at organization Web site; read more about the Illinois initiative at Illinois government Web site