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Can Long Island be a World Class Innovation Powerhouse?

Dr. Nancy Rauch Douzinas has been President of the Rauch Foundation since 1990.  The Rauch Foundation is a family foundation created by her father and uncle in 1961.  Under the leadership of Dr. Douzinas,  the Rauch Foundation has sought to be a change agent on Long Island and in Maryland.  Understanding the value and cost/benefits of a prevention-based approach to social and clinical problems, Dr. Douzinas helped develop such an orientation for the Foundation and its grants in the areas of children and families, the environment and the development of civic and non-profit leadership.
Long Island has the necessary assets which, if properly managed, could redefine the region into a major economic and innovation powrhouse.  That was the finding of the first Long Island Innovation Index released in January by the Long Island Index at an event which took place at Farmingdale State College.  The Long Island Index is funded by the Rauch Foundation, which is headquartered in Garden City, Long Island.  A new video that was presented shows Long Island at a point where the region has the potential to become an innovation powerhouse, comparable to places like Silicon Valley, Research Triangle and San Diego -- but only if Long Island uses its assets wisely.
Long Island is at a tipping point, where we have made serious movement toward creating a new innovation economy, one that can fuel a growing economy, higher paying jobs and increased opportunity.
Keynote speaker Mary Walshok, co-founder of CONNECT, San Diego's Innovation Cluster Development Organization, reviewed the successful transformation that she oversaw in San Diego.  "What the San diego region's experience suggests is that regions can successfully transform their economies when they develop a consensus about where they want to go and what assets they have to leverage and what gaps they need to fill to get there," said Ms. Walshok.  "Collaborative strategies and co-investment are then possible.  This report suggests Long Island is clearly poised for transformation."
In 2010 a group of leaders from Long Island's research institutions, businesses and local government began working together to identify ways to better connect Long Island's innovation assets to stimulate entrepreneurship and job creation.  The result of this collaborative effort was the formation of Accelerate Long Island, a regional initiative to promote innovation through collaboration.  With this spirit of collaboration, Long Island can have a strong future as a leading innovation region that generates opportunity for its people and businesses. 
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