5 organizations given inaugural Innovate NJ award

BD, J&J, Pfizer, Rutgers and Newark Working Kitchens honored

BD, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Rutgers University and Newark Working Kitchens were honored at the inaugural Innovate New Jersey awards earlier this week.

The virtual event illuminated innovation leaders from across the state. It honored five innovative companies for their work during the pandemic, giving the following reasons:

  • BD: Honored for rapidly developing three COVID-19 rapid antigen tests, and then for reliably manufacturing tens of millions of them;
  • J&J: Honored for its fast and effective development of the third U.S.-approved COVID-19 vaccine, and the first to fully protect people with a single dose;
  • Newark Working Kitchens: Honored for sustaining over 30 Newark restaurants throughout the pandemic and delivering over 900,000 meals to residents in need;
  • Pfizer: Honored for its extraordinarily rapid and effective development of the first U.S.-approved COVID-19 vaccine;
  • Rutgers: Honored for its rapid development of the COVID-19 saliva test — the first to obtain FDA approval, and one that can be used at home.

James Barrood, CEO of Innovation+, which hosted the event, said he was thrilled to honor the groups.

“I am extraordinarily proud that we had the opportunity to honor the innovations that are enabling this country — and, soon, the world — to overcome this tragic COVID-19 pandemic that has affected billions of lives and livelihoods,” he said.

“Furthermore, I’m gratified that these innovations were developed by brilliant leaders from our great innovation state. “