Gov. Phil Murphy, making good on his longstanding promise and desire to expand the manufacturing base in the state, will announce Monday morning in Eatontown the creation of the New Jersey Manufacturers Voucher Program — a $20 million pilot program that could provide up to $250,000 in grants to manufacturers in targeted industries to use toward updating their equipment.
The grants will be sized at 30%-50% of the cost of the eligible equipment, including installation. They will be reserved for equipment purchased by manufacturers that integrate advanced or innovative technologies, processes and materials to improve the manufacturing of products.
The program, which will be run by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, was approved by the EDA board last week. It will be funded by money that was appropriated to the EDA for manufacturing in the Fiscal Year 2023 state budget.
State officials said the application portal likely will open by the end of the year. When it opens, applications will be taken on a rolling basis until all of the money is allocated.
EDA CEO Tim Sullivan said the state has been eager to support a sector that always shows a willingness to step up.
“Gov. Murphy and I have both had the opportunity the last five years to visit countless manufacturers across the state, and you can’t help but be struck by the dynamism, resilience and innovation of New Jersey manufacturers,” he told ROI-NJ.
“This program is a direct result of Gov. Murphy’s commitment to have the back of manufacturers and help them compete better in the global economy.”
Manufacturers of all sizes.
The program will be committed to supporting small businesses, awarding manufacturers with fewer than 100 full-time equivalents higher award percentages.
It also will offer bonuses for companies that are:
- Certified woman-, minority- and veteran-owned;
- Located in Opportunity Zones;
- Purchase manufacturing equipment from businesses in New Jersey;
- Have at least one collective bargaining agreement in place.
The program is intended to help manufacturers participate in a number of innovative industries that are booming in the state, including essentially anything involved in clean energy, as well cannabis, film production, life sciences and advanced logistics.
Sullivan said the goal is to have a program that is wide-reaching, mirroring his view of the sector.
“Manufacturing is one of the unsung heroes of the New Jersey economy — it’s big, it’s diverse, it’s everywhere geographically and it employees a ton of people,” he said.
Here is a list of the targeted industries:
- Aviation industry: Includes, but is not limited to, commercial businesses that are directly involved with air transportation, which utilizes an aircraft, such as airplanes, helicopters and drones.
- Advanced logistics: Includes, but is not limited to, the research, development, commercialization and implementation of innovative planning, storage, supply chain management, handling and packaging of goods and services.
- Advanced manufacturing: Includes, but is not limited to, activities that integrate advanced or innovative technologies, processes and materials to improve the manufacturing of products. Such activities include research, development, commercialization and implementation of new manufacturing methods and processes that utilize technology or other innovative methodologies, including both physical equipment and software supporting advanced production.
- Advanced transportation: Includes, but is not limited to, the areas of infrastructure, vehicles and operations. Examples of advanced transportation technologies may include advanced transportation, sensor development, electrification of vehicles and infrastructure, new transport vehicle development, smart infrastructure and smart cities technologies.
- Advanced transportation and logistics: Includes, but is not limited to, the research, development, commercialization and implementation of technology and innovative methodologies to move goods, services and people, including by rail, road, air, sea, cable, space and the processing, storage, supply chain management, handling and packaging of goods and services.
- Autonomous vehicle research or development: Includes, but is not limited to, the research, development and implementation of technologies that support the advancement of vehicles that operate independently, increasingly without human involvement, and the related infrastructure for such vehicles.
- Clean energy: Includes, but is not limited to, the research, development, commercialization, manufacturing of products and services, and implementation of technologies that support renewable energy generation and distributed energy resources, grid modernization, energy efficiency and zero-carbon building development, and transport system electrification.
- Film and digital media: Includes, but is not limited to, the production and management of media communications, processes and technologies for theatrical motion pictures, television and cable broadcast, streaming services, web-based platforms. Digital media may include spoken word production and media software including video games. Research and development activities that advance media production, management and technology are also included.
- Finance and insurance: Includes, but is not limited to, the research, development, commercialization and management of financial and risk-management solutions, products and services for individuals, businesses and government agencies, including insurance lines, investment banking, depository and lending, and investment management services.
- Hemp processing: Refers to activities in compliance with the federal Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (also known as the 2018 Farm Bill) and any applicable regulations regarding hemp processing promulgated by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, including but not limited to, the research, development, commercialization, processing and manufacturing of commercial and industrial hemp products derived from hemp seeds, oil, fibers and shives for commercial use, including in the automotive, construction, food and beverage, personal care and textile industries.
- High technology: Includes, but is not limited to, the research, development, commercialization and manufacturing of technology hardware, technology processes, electronics and technology-based components. High technology industry also includes specialization in microelectronics, telecommunications, electronics equipment and components, advanced computing hardware, data storage hardware, advanced optical products and equipment, advanced sensor and instrumentation development, digital imaging, electromagnetics, mobile communication devices and infrastructure, semiconductors and semiconductor equipment.
- Information technology: Includes, but is not limited to, the research, development and commercialization of advanced software products and information technology services. Information technology industry includes specialization in application and software development, advanced data analytics, artificial intelligence, blockchain-related development, esports, cybersecurity, cloud computing, provision of web services or servers, telecommunications, mobile communications services, provision of software as a service and other computing technologies.
- Life sciences: Includes, but is not limited to, the research, development, commercialization, manufacturing and implementation of innovative treatments, diagnostic tools, health care-related software, medical devices, services and equipment that supports the study, protection and improvement of plant, animal and human life.
- Non-retail food and beverages: Includes, but is not limited to, the growing, processing, packaging, preservation and distribution of raw agricultural goods into consumer food products, including fresh prepared foods, packaged foods and alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, aquaculture and fisheries. The industry includes the regional or global headquarters for food-based businesses, breweries, wineries and major wholesale food distribution facilities. Research and development activities that advance food innovation technologies, commercialization, production, food distribution models and manufacturing operations are also included in the non-retail food and beverage industry.
- Professional services: Includes global headquarters, regional headquarters or major service hubs (such as innovation centers or centers of excellence) of knowledge economy-based businesses, from which customers or operations across multiple states or countries are served. Examples of knowledge economy-based businesses considered providing professional services include firms that specialize in consulting, accounting, advertising, law, marketing, architecture, design and engineering firms.
- Zero-emission vehicle research or development: Includes, but is not limited to, the research, development and implementation of technologies that advance the production of electric and other zero-emission vehicles that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or improve air quality and the related infrastructure. This industry also includes firms that are undertaking specific projects to implement these technologies.