The New Jersey Economic Development Authority on Monday said it has begun meeting with the nine municipalities that were awarded funding through a pilot round of the Innovation Challenge.
The Innovation Challenge is a program that will provide eligible communities the opportunity to receive funds for plans that strengthen their local innovation ecosystems.
The program’s pilot round awarded $100,000 each to Atlantic City, Atlantic County, Bridgeton, Camden County, Monmouth County, New Brunswick, Passaic County, Trenton and Union Township to help advance projects.
“Investing in communities is one of the strategic priorities of Governor Murphy’s economic development plan to create a stronger and fairer economy,” NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said. “As we’ve already seen by the impressive projects proposed by the winners, encouraging municipalities and counties to partner with public and private entities will lead to an inclusive, sustainable culture of entrepreneurship and innovation. We look forward to working with the winners to turn their vision into reality.”
The NJEDA said meetings are currently being scheduled and it is also preparing to accept applications for additional projects to be funded through the second round of the Innovation Challenge.
The NJEDA said the meetings are expected to be completed in the coming weeks and the planning projects will be completed in six to nine months.
The projects are as follows:
- Union Township along with Union County, Kean University and other partners, will expand the Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship at Kean University, an 8,000-square-foot technology accelerator.
- Passaic County will partner with Paterson, Passaic and some higher-education institutions to evaluate options to install a 5G fiber network in the commercial and industrial areas of Paterson and Passaic.
- Camden County, along with Rowan University‘s College of Engineering, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, Verizon and Camden, will determine how to improve downtown Camden’s transportation system and improve public safety.
- Atlantic City, Atlantic County, Bridgeton, Monmouth County, New Brunswick and Trenton will begin planning for the development of technology hubs in their areas.
- Atlantic City and Stockton University will plan for a Center for Marine and Environmental Science.
- Atlantic County, along with the Atlantic County Economic Alliance, Atlantic Cape Community College and the Atlantic County Improvement Authority will plan to develop an Aviation and Technology Academy near the Atlantic City Airport.
- Bridgeton will partner with the Rutgers Food Innovation Center and plan for the creation of a facility dedicated to testing, training and development of technology for safer and more efficient food production, processing and packaging.
- Monmouth County will partner with the Fort Monmouth Economic Redevelopment Authority and the New Jersey Institute of Technology to further grow the fort’s technology cluster.
- New Brunswick will work with Rutgers University and other partners to plan for two projects: A prototype “Lab of the Future”, which will provide startups a flexible lab space; and a Center for Advanced Infrastructure & Technology at Rutgers, which will focus on improving mobility through universal connectivity and equipping roadway infrastructure for testing of smart infrastructure and mobility technology.
- Trenton will partner with Mercer County Community College, Princeton University, Rider University, The College of New Jersey and Thomas Edison State University, to plan to create the Trenton Production and Knowledge Innovation Campus. TPKIC will be a collaborative, research-driven incubator and campus for existing and startup businesses.
More details of the winning projects can be found by clicking here.