HELIX partners welcome Nokia Bell Labs: ‘New generation of discovery’

Devco, RWJBH, HMH and city/county officials thrilled to have iconic R&D facility anchor their innovation complex

The core partners of HELIX gratefully welcomed Nokia’s announcement that it was moving Nokia Bell Labs, its famed research & development facility, to the innovation complex in New Brunswick — calling it a game-changing moment for the state.

Nokia officials, who made the formal announcement Monday afternoon at an event at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, have indicated that the HELIX presented Nokia with a unique mix of benefits and reasons to partner, including world-class facilities, proximity to the Northeast Corridor and partnerships with leading academic institutions.

To be clear, the made-to-order building is not expected to be completed until 2027, but what it represents is very impactful today. As a leading global research organization, Nokia Bell Labs will be bringing numerous tangible benefits and assets to the HELIX New Jersey community, including, but not limited to:

  • Cutting-edge areas of research such as 6G, artificial intelligence, and industrial automation;
  • Hundreds of brilliant minds pursuing life-improving ideas every day;
  • A commitment to collaboration across varying types of organizations;
  • A global footprint and leadership;
  • An unrivaled heritage of innovation, deeply rooted in New Jersey.

Helix partners Chris Paladino (New Brunswick Development Corp.), Jonathan Holloway (Rutgers University), Mark Manigan (RWJBarnabas Health), Bob Garrett (Hackensack Meridian Health), Comissioner Ron Rios (Middlesex County) and Mayor Jim Cahill (New Brunswick) said the impact will be enormous in the efforts of HELIX — and the state — to be a prime location for the next generation of research, discovery and innovation.

“This is big,” Paladino, the longtime president of Devco, said. “It simultaneously does multiple things. It reinforces the longstanding relationship between New Jersey and Nokia Bell Labs. It asserts and expands New Jersey’s leadership position in the global innovation economy. It opens the doors to powerful new collaborations, all while initiating a new generation of discovery.”

Holloway, the Rutgers president, said the potential for partnership is enormous.

“The Nokia Bell Labs collaboration model is perfectly suited for even deeper and broader partnerships with Rutgers,” he said. “By leveraging our already-successful historic working relationships and the enormous power of locating our researchers at the world-class facilities that the HELIX N.J. provides, great things will happen for Rutgers, for Nokia, for New Jersey and for the nation. I couldn’t be more excited about this development, nor more thankful for the leadership of Gov. (Phil) Murphy, the (Economic Development Authority), Devco and all of our partners.”

Garrett, the CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, and Manigan, the CEO of RWJBarnabas Health, were equally enthused.

“We are thrilled to welcome Nokia Bell Labs to the HELIX N.J., which will continue our mission to deliver more jobs to our great state, support research and innovation and advance health care,” Garrett said.

Manigan agreed.

“RWJBarnabas Health is incredibly proud to be associated with the HELIX N.J. project, not only as a founding tenant of the New Jersey Innovation HUB, but also as an anchor institution for Middlesex County and the city of New Brunswick,” he said. “We welcome Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs to the project, which we believe to be truly transformational for our region.”

The local politicians obviously were pleased, too.

“Middlesex County has been on a journey to cultivate a sustainable economic ecosystem through strategic public and private partnerships,” Rios said. “We’re excited to welcome Nokia as the newest tenant of HELIX N.J., joining a roster of distinguished organizations who prioritize education and value a robust talent pipeline that uniquely exists in our county.”

For Cahill, it’s another feather in his large cap as New Brunswick’s longtime mayor.

“Nokia’s legacy of innovation and devotion to the development of cutting-edge technologies ensures a lasting impact on the global telecommunications landscape,” he said. “Nokia Bell Labs’ commitment to New Brunswick as the home for their new research & development facility speaks volumes about the potential and promise our city holds.

“It is a testament to the collaborative spirit, innovation and forward-thinking attitude that defines our community.  This venture will not only bring economic opportunities to our city, but will also create a hub of creativity and expertise that will undoubtedly contribute to the continued growth and success of New Brunswick.”