2012 Laboratory Director of the Year Northeast

Award Year 

Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) has a long history of transferring technology developed from fundamental science to the private sector. From video games through maglev trains to medical imaging, BNL’s innovations have had an enduring and worldwide impact. Under Dr. Samuel Aronson’s leadership, an expanded focus on moving from discovery to deployment has broadened and intensifi ed this impact.With a rich history of inventions under Dr. Aronson’s leadership, an (more) emerging aspect of BNL’s science and technology agenda focuses on research at the gap between basic and applied science to provide an environment where research innovations may be developed to the point of being deployed more rapidly. Th e BNL effort is taking full advantage of Work for Others, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, and intellectual property licensing to engage with the eventual users of technology. The laboratory has already established partnerships with industry to pursue the commercialization of some of its climate- and energy-related applications, and has plans to expand the deployment side of its accelerator science and technology core capability.Dr. Aronson has provided strong leadership for technology-based entrepreneurship on several levels. In collaboration with the Small Business Development Center at Stony Brook University, BNL has developed a series of educational workshops for lab employees and local residents. To further expand the laboratory’s ability to transfer technology to startups, Dr. Aronson supported development of a formal policy by which Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA), the contractor operating BNL, can take equity as partial consideration for licenses to BNL technology.New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Dr. Aronson, along with other distinguished local leaders, to the new Long Island Regional Economic Development Council (LIREDC). Th e Council has worked at a rapid pace to develop an economic development strategic plan and associated regional projects. Through Dr. Aronson’s eff orts, BNL is playing important roles in developing the regional strategy and project plans in innovation and industry as well as education and workforce development. Dr. Aronson has made signifi cant contributions to the overall enhancement of technology transfer at BNL that are leading to improved economic development at the lab—and more broadly on Long Island and in New York State. (less)