Partnership between NJII, IAF gets $750K grant from EDA to expand biopharma clusters in N.J.

A partnership between the New Jersey Innovation Institute and the Innovation Accelerator Foundation has been awarded a $750,000 grand from the U.S. Economic Development Authority to help expand growing innovation biopharmaceutical clusters in New Jersey.

“The Innovation Accelerator Foundation is looking forward to this growing partnership with NJII and is excited to help launch the NJ Bio-Foundry to bring needed commercialization services to biotechnology startups,” John Pyrovolakis, president and founder of IAF, said.

The grant is part of the EDA Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s Regional Innovation Strategies i6 Program. The program will create the NJ Bio-Foundry, which aims to bring together partners to expand the biopharmaceutical industry with a focus on cell and gene therapies and biologics.

The NJ-BIO-Foundry will also locate emerging research discoveries at universities in the area and throughout the U.S., and will help them through through technical and business support, it said.

“We are delighted by the EDA’s selection of NJII to direct the New Jersey Biopharmaceuticals Innovation and Enterprise Development Center. NJII is dedicated to the renewal of New Jersey’s key industrial sectors, resulting in better products, stronger companies and vibrant clusters producing more jobs for New Jersey’s citizens,” Dr. Donald H. Sebastian, president of NJII, said.

NJII’s Judith Sheft, associate vice president of technology and enterprise development, is the principal investigator for the grant, the EDA said.

“By the end of the three-year grant period, we anticipate the NJ Bio-Foundry project will have created 15 new companies that support 75 new jobs, with another 45 new companies in the pipeline. Our experience in applying the tools of innovation to spur entrepreneurship and support startup formation are ideally suited to achieve the goals set forth by the EDA in its Regional Innovation Strategies Program. We are excited to be collaborating with other partners in the regional ecosystem to apply their resources and capabilities to support the growth of these early stage companies. The Innovation Accelerator Foundation is a key partner in helping to identify and source academic technology,” Sheft said.

NJII is an NJIT corporation.