More jobs for Long Island residents and more opportunities for local students are coming to .
The New York State legislature passed a bill last week that will allow to enter into lease agreements to expand the Broad Hollow Bioscience Park, a biotechnology research park on campus that houses OSI Pharmaceuticals.
"This legislation greatly strengthens our efforts to ensure that a leading biotech firm will not only remain on Long Island, but also will be able to grow its research operations and contribute to the economic prosperity of the region," said Farmingdale State President W. Hubert Keen.
The legislation, authored by Sen. Charles Fuschillo, R-Merrick, and Assemblyman Robert Sweeney, D-Lindenhurst, would create a total of 787 direct and indirect jobs and an annual payroll of approximately $50 million for the region.
“Broad Hollow Bioscience Park is a key component of Long Island’s economic engine," Fuschillo said. "It has helped build up Long Island’s biotech industry, created jobs, and provided educational opportunities to students. At a time when over 116,000 Long Islanders are unemployed, this is a measure that would lead to hundreds of new jobs for local residents and tens of millions of dollars in new revenue for our economy."
Farmingdale State has held a strategic partnership with to operate the facility on campus since 2002. The company offers internships to students and provides money for scholarships.
"The synergies between the Broad Hollow Bioscience Park and the campus have enhanced greatly the exponential growth of our bioscience program, added to the research achievements of our faculty and students,and provided scholarships that enable meaningful opportunities for the next generation of scientists, all great plusses for Long Island," President Keen said.
OSI Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Astellas Pharma Inc, a multinational pharmaceutical company, last year. Astellas is looking to expand OSI’s presence at
Farmingdale State to nearly 40 acres.
This legislation will be a significant step forward for the company to enhance its current and future offerings and many other "exciting possibilities," according to Chief Executive Officer of OSI Pharmaceuticals Naoki Okamura.
"It is a major step toward assuring that OSI will remain our anchor tenant, with all the job creation that it entails, and it positions Broad Hollow Bioscience Park to be a long-term contributor to the development of biotech innovations," said George LaRosa, board chair of Broad Hollow Bioscience Park.
The state government allowing SUNY colleges to more readily engage in private-public partnerships, like this one, is a topic Chancellor Nancy Zimpher spoke about in her
“We must be anchors in our local communities, in many cases our community’s largest employer, consumer of goods and services and a massive source of construction jobs,” she said.
Bioscience Park was originally developed on the campus in conjunction with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a premiere genetics research institution where Nobel Prize winner James Watson gave the first public presentation on the double-helix nature of DNA
The bill passed both houses of the New York State Legislature and will become law once Governor Cuomo signs it in the upcoming weeks.
"With this legislation, we move one step closer to making Long Island a leader of the biotechnology industry," Sweeney said. "The passage of this legislation will help energize the local economy and give Farmingdale State College students the opportunity to enter this growing field."