Guadagno launched the Coalition last month with the publication of “Building Bridges II: Breaking Down Barriers.” The report, prepared by the New Jersey Policy Research Organization (NJPRO) and Innovation NJ, recommends policy changes to create an innovation ecosystem. Such a system would make it easier for industry and academia to collaborate on new ideas and inventions.
Other recommendations contained in the report include:
• Cutting red tape by creating standard agreements governing intellectual property rights and collaboration between entities.
• Identifying areas of expertise within New Jersey’s colleges and universities that can form the basis for Centers of Excellence. Designation of a single center of excellence for a topic would provide guidance to interested parties searching for a research partner.
• Having a chief administrator at each college and university who will serve as a one- stop-shop coordinator for businesses to connect with university information and resources.
“We’ve been in the forefront for decades of aligning industry and businesses with NJIT,” said Bloom. “Our mission has always included the economic development of New Jersey. We see this coalition providing not only a strong learning opportunity for us but also for the many others whom we hope this coalition will introduce to NJIT and its resources. We look forward to being on the cutting edge of helping the state attract more federal funds and bringing innovative products and ideas to market.”
NJIT has long-championed economic development both in New Jersey and the nation to facilitate economic development, a core mission of the university, and the growth of small, innovative businesses. In 1988, NJIT was among the nation’s first to establish a small business incubator for the sole purpose of helping grow new businesses with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Today, NJIT’s Enterprise Development Center (EDC) remains among the nation’s largest small-business incubators, home to 90-plus high-tech and life-science companies. Guadagno and her staff frequently visit the 110,000 square-foot, two-building complex on the NJIT campus to meet entrepreneurs developing new and innovative technologies. The facilities offer first class office space and laboratories. Among EDC’s most valuable resources is fast access to NJIT faculty and undergraduate and graduate students immersed in STEM fields. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to partner with researchers to help grow their business. EDC is in the heart of Newark’s University Heights Science Park and the Newark Innovation Zone.