Biotechnology companies based on Long Island, N.Y., can now get help applying for federal research grants, thanks to a new program dedicated to forging links between scientists and industry.

Called the Technical Evaluation and Partnering Program, or TEP, the five-month-old effort was launched by a pair of institutions in the area--the Long Island Research Institute and the Center for Biotechnology at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. The program is designed to match local technology businesses with experienced researchers who can assist the companies in preparing their grant applications.

Ultimately, its organizers are aiming for TEP to be a springboard for promoting Long Island's nascent biotechnology industry, which is increasingly being viewed by analysts as crucial to the region's future now that the area's once-thriving defense business has shrunk.

"We're trying to interest those companies whose defense contracts are drying up to develop devices for solving medical problems,"...

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