Nokia Bell Labs is moving to HELIX in New Brunswick

Company to announce Monday it will be sole tenant in Helix 2 building, bringing its iconic lab (and 1,000+ employees) to innovation center

Nokia Bell Labs will announce Monday that it is moving to the HELIX innovation center in New Brunswick, where it will use one of the three buildings planned for the complex as its North American research & development center, numerous people familiar with the announcement confirmed to ROI-NJ.

The move is expected to bring approximately 1,000 jobs to the New Jersey Health + Life Science Exchange (better known as the HELIX), while affirming the complex as the leading center for research and innovation in the state.

The move also means that Nokia Bell Labs will be leaving its iconic campus in Murray Hill, one that began as the Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1925 — and one where researchers are credited with the development of the transistor, among other major innovations. Ten Nobel Prizes have been awarded for work completed there.

It is unclear how soon the move will take place.

The new facility will be one of 10 R&D facilities that Nokia Bell Labs has around the world — but the only one located in North America.

Nokia’s announcement is the crown jewel for a project that had a groundbreaking with much fanfare in the fall of 2021. At the time, Gov. Phil Murphy said the hope was for the HELIX to be a showcase for all the innovation the state has to offer.

Here’s how HELIX will break down:

HELIX 1 will serve as a center for translational research as it will house both a state-of-the-art facility for the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School as well as what is being dubbed the New Jersey Innovation Hub, a place where companies of all sizes can come together on research.

HELIX 3 will be a 42-story, mixed-use building that will include 37 floors of residential featuring approximately 220 units of housing, as well as retail.

Nokia will be the sole tenant in HELIX 2.

The New Brunswick Development Corp. is serving as the master developer of the project, working with SJP Properties.

Work on HELIX 1 already has begun, with an opening set for 2025.

A timeline on HELIX 2 and HELIX 3 could not be determined, but both buildings seemingly would be in line for an Aspire tax credit. HELIX 1 was granted a $271 million Aspire credit in February.

The formal announcement Monday is expected to draw a large number of state and federal officials, as well as prominent business leaders, to the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center.

Someone familiar with the move, who is not authorized to speak about it publicly, said the impact of the announcement cannot be overstated.

“This is extraordinary,” the person said. “When you think about a name and entity like Bell Labs not only recommitting to New Jersey but doubling down in many regards and embracing the vision for an innovative economy that the governor laid out at the beginning of his administration, it’s a great day for the state.”