Robert A. Altenkirch, PhD, president of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), was named Chairman of the Board of Trustees for University Heights Science Park.
The Board of Trustees, which has 32 members, is responsible for overseeing and guiding the development of the Science Park, a 50-acre mixed-use park in Newark’s Central Ward.
Jeanette Brummell, executive director of University Heights Science Park, said Altenkirch is suited to lead Science Park.
“We welcome the key role that President Altenkirch will play in continuing the development of Science Park,” Brummel said. “As the president of NJIT, the state’s public university whose growing research enhances technology, he is the perfect person to lead us forward.”
Altenkirch replaces Stanley Bergen, the founding chairman and president emeritus of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ).
“Science Park is designed to harness university science and technology research that will help the community, private industry and the state move forward by giving them the technological edge needed to compete in the 21st century,” said Altenkirch. “Science Park is also a place where Newark’s four institutions of higher learning will collaborate on important research.”
Science Park was founded in 1992 by the Council for Higher Education in Newark (CHEN), a group composed of Essex County College, NJIT, Rutgers University- Newark and UMDNJ.
When completed, the park will include a million square feet of technology laboratories and offices, 75,000 square feet of technology incubator space, 20,000 square feet of retail space, two blocks of mixed housing, and a new math and science high school due to open in 2006.
The Science Park is a collaborative venture among Newark's higher education institutions, the City of Newark, private industry, the state and the federal government, said Brummell. As such, Science Park is uniquely positioned to provide technology businesses with a competitive advantage.
As state public research universities, NJIT, UMDNJ and Rutgers-Newark annually conduct nearly $180 million of research. Much of this scientific research is done in university-sponsored technology centers located in Newark's University Heights district. Essex County College trains technicians in eleven science and technology fields.
A not-for-profit corporation, Science Park was incorporated in 1992 to implement this comprehensive vision. In addition to Newark's higher education institutions, the Board of Trustees includes representatives from several community organizations, officials at all government levels, the Newark Public Schools, and private corporations including PSE&G, The Prudential Insurance Company, First Union National Bank and Bell Atlantic of New Jersey.
The first two Science Park buildings were completed in the fall of 1996. Located in the 15,000-square-foot CHEN building is the park's offices and the industrial liaison laboratories for the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials & Medical Devices.