Governor Hochul Announces Request for Applications for Life Sciences and Workforce Development as Part of the $350 Million Long Island Investment Fund

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced two Requests for Applications as part of the $350 million Long Island Investment Fund. Empire State Development will issue one RFA for the creation of a Life Science Accelerator Program and one for the creation of Workforce Development Training Centers. These Long Island Investment Fund RFAs present an opportunity to supercharge the growing life sciences ecosystem in the region and build on Governor Hochul’s vision of supporting regional workforce development plans that provides in-demand skills and direct job placement.

“My administration continues its commitment to supporting the groundbreaking innovation and workforce development that keeps New York State on the cutting edge through its many regional strengths, including Long Island’s life sciences leadership,” Governor Hochul said. “The Long Island Investment Fund will expand opportunity by accelerating development of early-stage companies that will transform the area’s industry landscape and targeting workforce training to meet the needs of high-growth employers. Through these partnerships, we are helping to fill critical roles by preparing New York job seekers for careers of the future.”

Included as part of Governor Hochul’s FY 2023 Enacted Budget, the Long Island Investment Fund has three components: $250 million to support transformative projects, $50 million to support an accelerator program with a venture competition, and $50 million to support workforce development. To date, more than $55 million out of $250 million has been allocated on projects that will support and grow the regional economy, enhance communities, and have positive long-term impacts across the region. The two $50 million RFAs being announced today, sponsoring the development of an accelerator program and supporting workforce development, demonstrate an important step forward in delivering on Governor Hochul’s vision to strengthen the region’s future by fostering the growth of commercialization in Long Island’s life science research corridor and build the foundational infrastructure needed to support the region’s talented workforce and needs of regional industries.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “With today’s announcement, New York is laying the groundwork to build upon State investments to Long Island’s life science ecosystem and regional workforce needs. Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, the Long Island Investment Fund will prepare the region’s workforce of tomorrow and supercharge Long Island as a hub of technology and innovation.”

Empire State Development Board Chairman Kevin Law said, “Long Island is where innovation and opportunity intersect. Through Long Island Investment Fund RFAs announced today, we are going to transform the region’s life science corridor and create opportunities for a better future for residents and businesses for generations to come.”

Long Island Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair Linda Armyn, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Bethpage Federal Credit Union said, “Strategic investments in our workforce and innovation economy will drive Long Island’s future forward. The Long Island Investment Fund RFAs will lay the foundations to expand workforce opportunities for Long Islanders while leveraging the region’s intellectual capital that will keep our region competitive in the growing life sciences industry.”

Life Sciences Accelerator Program ($50 Million)

Launched in August 2022 with a meeting convened by ESD to gather industry input for the RFA process, the $50 million Life Sciences Accelerator Program will support and foster promising early-stage life science companies that will attract talent, innovators, and life science companies to Long Island. Under this RFA, ESD will select one applicant through a competitive process to create an accelerator program that will support scalable companies developing life science companies with long term growth potential. This accelerator program, designed to complement other New York State accelerator programs, will culminate with a venture competition where companies present their product to a panel of expert judges to secure prize money.

Currently, ESD funds eight accelerator programs across New York State: Genius NY, 43North, HUSTLE, 76 West, Luminate, New York State Business Plan Competition, Commercialization Competition, and Grow NY, which help entrepreneurs gain the skills they need to access capital, accelerate innovation, make critical industry connections, and grow their companies in New York State. These programs offer comprehensive support to early-stage companies that are contributing technological innovation, economic growth, and jobs in specific regions of New York and in some cases the entire state.

The Life Sciences Accelerator RFA will begin accepting applications from Wednesday, December 28, 2022 until March 31, 2023 at 5:00 PM EST. Interested applicants can apply here.

Workforce Development Training Centers ($50 Million)

This $50 million allocation will create new economic opportunities for unemployed, underemployed and underrepresented workers, while simultaneously meeting the labor needs of the state’s highest-growth industry sectors. Under this RFA, ESD will select one or more applicants to build, equip and operate centers to train or retrain as well as place individuals from Long Island’s workforce to meet the needs and opportunities of regional industries.

ESD has identified several industries targeted for growth, including Biotech and Life Sciences, Cleantech and Renewable Energy, Craft Beverage, Tourism, Advanced Manufacturing, Agribusiness. Projects with a focus on training in the identified industries and that lead to jobs within those industries will be prioritized with preference given to training programs that support socially and economically disadvantaged groups. In order to be eligible to receive a grant award, the applicant must agree to meet the following cost-match requirement: the LIIF grant will cover no more than 50% for the total project cost.

The Workforce Development Training Center RFA will accept applications from Wednesday, December 28, 2022 until March 31, 2023 at 5:00 PM EST. Interested applicants can apply here.