LONG ISLAND LIFE SCIENCE
REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS
Issued: December 28, 2022
Designated Contacts for this Procurement:
Primary Contact: Heidi Knoblauch
Secondary Contact: Matt Watson
All contacts/inquiries shall be made by email to the following address:
This Request for Applications (“RFA”) is posted on the Empire State Development website:
Applications must be sent to the designated Dropbox:
APPLICATIONS DUE DATE AND TIME:
On or before Friday, March 31, 2023 by 5:00 PM EST.
Late applications will not be accepted
The mission of Empire State Development (“ESD”) is to promote a vigorous and growing state economy,
encourage business investment and job creation, and support diverse, prosperous local economies across
New York State through the efficient use of loans, grants, tax credits, real estate development, marketing
and other forms of assistance.
A. Project Summary
To support the continued growth of the life sciences ecosystem on Long Island, ESD offers a Long Island
Life Science Acceleration Request for Applications (“RFA”). Currently, ESD funds eight accelerators
(“Programs”) (Genius NY, 43North, HUSTLE, 76 West (Coming Soon), Luminate, New York State Business
Plan Competition, Commercialization Competition, and Grow NY) to 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 ultimately jobs in specific regions of
New York and in some cases the entire state.
The overall goal of this RFA is to bring together resources on Long Island to support and foster the growth
of commercialization in the growing life science ecosystem. This will, in turn, accelerate the
commercialization of novel discoveries as well as promising early-stage companies who will attract talent,
innovators, and/or other life science companies to Long Island. Applicants should provide a cohesive and
comprehensive program thesis, which includes programming that will act as a catalyst for expanding the
ecosystem cluster and will support appropriate early-stage companies. Components of this Program
should include a competition with prize monies, support for companies during the Program, support for
companies after the Program, access to resources, and physical space.
B. Request for Application Schedule
Release of Request for Applications
Deadline for Submission of Questions
Deadline for ESD to Respond to Questions
Submission of Applications
Anticipated Announcement of Selections
Anticipated Contract Start Date
December 28, 2022
February 24, 2023 by 3:00 PM EST
March 3, 2023
March 31, 2023 by 5:00 PM EST
A. Program Goals and Objectives
Under this RFA, ESD will select a group of partners – one Applicant – to create an accelerator Program to
support Scalable Companies developing life science companies with long term growth potential on Long
Island, leveraging synergies with current and future assets in the region (See Appendix B: Overview of
Long Island Life Science Assets). This Program will include a competitive application process to an
accelerator, culminating with a venture competition where Beneficiary Companies present their product,
service, or technology to a panel of expert judges, to secure prize money (investments) or in-kind services.
Applicants must address the following tasks:
Task I: Partners, Services, and Resources
Applicants are asked to provide details about the services and resources that will be available to early-
stage companies and detail if they will be provided by the Applicant directly or through Partners
outside of their group. Each Applicant must detail a process and summary of the support that will be
provided to each company.
The Proposal must explain:
• The plan to reach a broad pool of life sciences entrepreneurs both already located on Long
Island but needing support to grow and be sustained, and those located elsewhere who have
a high likelihood of relocation to and growth on Long Island;
• The plan to attract life science companies addressing areas of importance to New York State
and leveraging Long Island’s strengths, particularly companies with a focus on cell and gene
therapy; clinical genomics; innovative technologies as CRISPR, nanotechnologies, organoids,
and bioelectronics; or other areas with high growth potential that build on the strengths of
Long Island resources (focus areas may be adjusted or changed in the life science field based
on the demonstrated regional strengths; the quality and quantity of applicant companies; and
economic impact protentional of the focus area);
• The track record for providing support in all necessary aspects of this Program;
• The industry and non-industry partners, services, and resources (demonstrating access to
mentors, investor networks, specialized equipment, FDA expertise, etc.) who will perform
various objectives or tasks; and
• The plan to support the accelerator beyond the grant period and ability to raise capital from
Task II: Advancing Pace of Discovery
Applicants are expected to offer assistance to life sciences entrepreneurs that will help them get to
market faster than they would without the program and commercialization support. Specifically,
Applicants should detail how they will provide support and connections to entrepreneurs and the
companies in their program. Types of support that advances the pace of discovery can include high
performance computing technologies, consulting on regulatory needs, technology transfer expertise,
introductions to relevant industry partners, mentoring or building mentoring pathways, digital
infrastructure, networking opportunities, access to laboratory and technical facilities and other
resources, etc. Successful Applicants will showcase how the Program plans to support the growth of
these businesses after competing in the venture competition.
B. Eligibility Requirements
The Applicant should demonstrate a strong track record of providing accelerator services;
making investments in companies; hosting venture competitions; and fostering collaboration
between Partners. The proposal must demonstrate an established record of success in attracting,
vetting, and supporting Scalable Companies commercializing innovative life science
technologies/products that have a unique business model/market approach. Successful
Applicants will show:
▪ Deep commitment to collaborating with Partners to grow the life sciences start-
up ecosystem on Long Island.
• Vetting Teams and Technologies
▪ Methods to identify and implement best practices for vetting technologies and
teams considered for investment.
▪ Plan to identify and recruit early-stage life sciences companies focused on
discoveries and innovations described in Task 1.
• Beneficiary Company Support
▪ Details of the support Beneficiary Companies will receive to accelerate
technology development and Beneficiary Company growth.
▪ Success stories or examples demonstrating a track record of success working with
Scalable Companies in the life sciences.
▪ Seamless support across all partners to accelerate growth and encourage
▪ Plan to showcase Beneficiary Companies to secure follow-on funding and/or
further accelerate growth.
▪ Plan to reinvest successful investments into the Program.
• Leadership and Staffing
▪ Background and experiences of individuals that would be involved in this effort if
• Company Pipeline
▪ Sustainable infrastructure to attract and maintain a pipeline of Scalable
Companies focused on the life sciences who will have long term impact on
economic growth on Long Island and in the State.
• Ability to Validate Technology and Team
▪ Process for validating technologies, products and business models and vetting
teams to de-risk potential investment and share this process with ESD.
• Investment History
▪ Experience investing in Scalable Companies and support given to help those
companies raise follow-on funding.
▪ Plan to identify and recruit additional partners as necessary for additional
outreach or support to the Beneficiary Companies.
• Recordkeeping, reporting, and control systems
▪ Plans for tracking, measuring, and reporting outcomes associated with the
Program and controls to ensure appropriate use of funds.
C. Grant Funding and Project Timeline
Grant awards are as follows:
$8 million annually for five (5) years with a minimum of 75% going towards prize money. There is no cost-
match requirement associated with this grant. If the applicant demonstrates a critical need or anticipated
need, money is potentially available for equipment, lab upgrades, and renovations.
ESD reserves the right to award grants in amounts greater or less than the above listed figures and/or at
a varying schedule depending on the number and quality of applications received and other
considerations set forth in this RFA.
There is no cost-match requirement associated with this grant.
i. Eligible and Ineligible Expenses
Eligible activities include but are not limited to:
• Office/lab space for companies participating in the program;
• Marketing and outreach to increase awareness of the competition; and
• Support that will accelerate the pace of innovation and increase the speed to
The following limitations apply to this RFA:
• Indirect costs are PROHIBITED;
• Basic Research PROHIBITED; and
• Expenses must be relevant and justifiable to the project(s) outcome.
A budget template is included in this RFA. ESD has the right to review all expenses and deny the
reimbursement of any expenses that are deemed ineligible.
D. Data Collection
Applicants awarded grant funding will be required to track and record information relevant to the success
of this grant. Data will be made available to ESD as requested. Data points to be captured and tracked are
at the discretion of ESD. Failure to report in a timely manner will jeopardize funding. Items to be captured
and tracked include:
• Applications received with company summary, location, size, revenue, tech readiness level, and
demographics of leadership;
• Beneficiary Companies selected for accelerator and the assistance/training they received;
• Jobs created/retained;
• Investments received;
• Funds acquired (grants);
• Increased sales;
• Cost savings; and
• Other impacts identified by ESD.
III. Application Information
Please provide a narrative that includes the following information in the following order using the
headings listed below. Submitted applications are expected to be clearly written. If applications exceed
the page limits and/or include materials not requested by the RFA, ESD will remove the extra pages and/or
materials prior to the review. During the review process, applicant institutions may be requested to
submit additional written documents to answer questions or provide clarification of issues raised during
the review process. Assemble the application in the following order:
1. Cover page
2. Table of Contents
3. Glossary of Terms Used
4. Executive Summary (max 1 page)
5. Proposal (15-page limit)
a. Each organization’s experience and qualification