New Institute for Future Technologies: New school for New Jersey

NJIT to partner with Ben-Gurion University to create research institute that aims to be a global hub of technological innovation

Gov. Phil Murphy said the New Institute for Future Technologies will combine the academic and research capacities of two global institutions, creating the region’s next hub of technological innovation.

New Jersey Institute of Technology President Joel Bloom said the school, based on an international partnership of world-renowned and tech-driven universities, represents a major opportunity the state.

Ben-Gurion University President Daniel Chamovitz said the school will tackle the world’s greatest challenges.

Tuesday afternoon in Newark, Murphy, Bloom and Chamovitz announced the creation of the New Institute for Future Technologies, a school that will have campuses in Newark and Jersey City.

Those involved clearly see unlimited opportunity.

NJIT and BGU, both powerhouse universities in the fields of cybertechnologies and environmental engineering, will come together to offer dual degrees and exciting new research opportunities. The institute will receive support and seed funding from the state of New Jersey.

For Murphy, the institute is part of his mission and vision to create an innovative economy.

“NJIT is one of the state’s premier STEM-focused universities, and BGU is one of the driving forces behind the success of Israel’s technology economy,” he said. “By joining together in this groundbreaking venture, NJIT and BGU will combine their expertise and track records in technological research and development to help strengthen the economic opportunity and tech leadership that I have long envisioned for our state.”

Bloom and Chamovitz said the partnership between NJIT and BGU aims to create a school that will support innovation and entrepreneurship through technological commercialization efforts.

The Institute’s mission is to deliver:

  • Education: Offerings from dual NJIT-BGU graduate (Ph.D. and M.S./M.Sc.) degrees for local students, to corporate training programs;
  • Applied research: Opportunities for Ph.D. students and research staff, based on corporate, government and defense R&D projects and funding;
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship: Promoting technology transfer and commercialization of R&D and other intellectual property from NJIT, BGU and other sources, including launching ventures and spinoffs.

The institute will operate out of both NJIT’s satellite location in the waterfront section of Jersey City as well as its main campus in Newark.

The two presidents said the institute will be easily accessible from the World Trade Center and the Financial District in Lower Manhattan. Their hope is that as more companies move and expand operations across the Hudson River into Jersey City, the institute is positioned to serve the entire metropolitan region.

One main component of the NJIT-BGU agreement is collaboration in civil and environmental engineering, including research in structures, buildings, materials, infrastructures, energy and environmentally conscious construction, water resources and air quality.

Both BGU and NJIT have considerable interest and expertise in the development of systems and materials with minimal environmental impact, as well as the development, use and regulation of natural or engineered systems for the remediation of contaminated environments (water, air, soil). This is in addition to design and preparation against earthquakes and other extreme events, including man-made and natural catastrophes.

The new institute will be located on NJIT’s campuses in Newark and Jersey City. (NJIT)

These civil engineering and infrastructure/water efforts intersect with the cybersecurity effort in protecting aquatic environments and other infrastructure systems from malicious actors and cyberattacks.

The Institute represents BGU’s first foray into the U.S. higher education system and signals its determination to offer the valuable research and insights it produces for the benefit of students outside of Israel.

“Over the past five decades, our expertise and approaches developed in the Negev Desert have become increasingly relevant globally,” Chamovitz said. “BGU and NJIT tackle the world’s greatest challenges through our problem-oriented approaches. We are excited to offer students in the U.S. the opportunity to get a BGU-NJIT education in New Jersey and to welcome new faculty to the institute.”

NJIT, which bills itself as the tristate region’s largest generator of tech talent, has an annual economic impact of more than $2.8 billion on the state of New Jersey. The Institute for Future Technologies will be NJIT’s next contribution to the region’s rapidly expanding tech sector.

“NJIT continuously is evolving to preserve and improve New Jersey’s leadership in technological innovation,” Bloom said. “International partnerships, especially with world-renowned and tech-driven universities, are a natural step in this direction and represent a major opportunity for NJIT and New Jersey. We look forward to importing some Israeli ‘chutzpah’ and Startup Nation culture to the region as we build our joint institute together.”

Limor Aharonson-Daniel, BGU’s vice president for global engagement, said the institute will add to BGU’s international reputation in the fields of cybersecurity and data science.

“We look forward to a fruitful collaboration leading to many scientific breakthroughs and to the success of our graduates who will gain a dual international degree,” he said.

Craig Gotsman, distinguished professor and dean of NJIT’s Ying Wu College of Computing, agreed.

“The last year of COVID-driven reality has proven that computing, digital and cybertechnologies are now more important than ever before,” he said. “Leadership and innovation in this field can be the key to significant economic development, and NJIT is uniquely positioned to make it happen in New Jersey. We are fortunate to have a strong partner in BGU to help us achieve this goal as we learn from their achievements in Israel.”

Choose New Jersey CEO Jose Lozano said the feels the launch of the Institute for Future Technologies will help solidify New Jersey’s status as a technology hub.

“Our thriving ecosystem is leading the way in offering world-class education, developing top talent, and advancing research,” he said. “The State of Innovation and the Startup Nation have always enjoyed a close relationship, and this collaboration will only strengthen our economic and cultural ties.”

Andrew H. Gross, executive director of the New Jersey-Israel Commission, said the partnership stands as a major achievement and opens a new chapter in New Jersey’s growing and strategic relationship with Israel.

“This announcement between two premier and global academic institutions charts us even further on a common course towards innovation and academic leadership that will shape the future and bring significant benefits to both New Jersey and Israel,” he said.