BioNJ’s Hart named chair of N.J.’s Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology

Debbie Hart. (File photo)

BioNJ CEO and President Debbie Hart has been named the next chair of the state’s Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology, the CSIT announced Friday.

After serving as the commission’s vice chair since 2018, she succeeds Gunjan Doshi, who stepped down as chair earlier this year.

“I thank Gov. (Phil) Murphy for his unwavering commitment to New Jersey’s startup community and for entrusting me with the vital task of heading the board of such an important commission,” Hart said in a prepared statement. “Under the governor’s leadership, we have made significant strides in our efforts to recapture our role as a leader in innovation.

“I look forward to working with my fellow board members, and the staff of CSIT, to put forth new programs and initiatives that will benefit businesses and researchers throughout the industry and New Jersey’s innovation economy as a whole.”

The CSIT promotes the state as a home for academic and technological research & development and commercialization. It was reestablished in 2018 by Murphy, and includes representatives from the public and private sectors, and academia. To date, it has provided nearly 150 startups with more than $6 million in funding.

“As we continue to invest in our state’s science, technology, engineering and math sectors, CSIT’s role is becoming more important than ever,” Murphy said in a statement. “Debbie has a long history of advocating for young, innovative companies in the Garden State, and her decades of involvement has helped shape New Jersey’s innovation ecosystem and make it the ideal place for startups to grow and flourish.”

Hart has led BioNJ since 1994, helping the life sciences trade organization represent nearly 400 research-based organizations and stakeholders across the health care ecosystem.

“The passion Debbie has for helping emerging companies succeed shines through in everything she does, making her the perfect choice to be the next CSIT chair,” Executive Director Judith Sheft said in a statement. “Debbie brings a unique perspective and set of skills to CSIT and is a tremendous asset to the board as we work with our partners in the industry and academia to support startups growing in the Garden State.”