Continuing the state’s commitment to supporting the growth of the technology and life sciences industries, which are targeted for growth under the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA), the Board of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) took action to approve Grow New Jersey (Grow NJ) tax credits for two Middlesex County projects.
The Board approved Grow NJ tax credits for up to $3.2 million over 10 years for Israel-based Macrocure, Inc. The award will encourage the company, which is developing a platform to address chronic and hard-to-heal wounds, to establish its North American headquarters at the EDA’s Technology Centre of New Jersey in North Brunswick, rather than Philadelphia. The project would bring with it 48 new jobs and over $6 million in private investment.
At last month’s board meeting, a 10-year, three-month lease for space at the Technology Centre was approved for Macrocure, contingent upon the Board’s approval of the company’s Grow NJ application.
“Life sciences is an industry targeted for growth in the State,” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Melissa Orsen. “This project illustrates how resources offered by the State, including changes to the Grow NJ program and the availability of affordable office and lab space, are helping start-ups increase their viability.”
Specifically, the EOA reduced the threshold to qualify for Grow New Jersey tax credits from 100 full-time jobs to as low as 10 full-time jobs for technology start-ups and 25 new jobs in other targeted industries. Since the EOA came into effect in September of 2013, approximately 30 percent of tax credits approved under Grow NJ support technology and life sciences companies.
Also, technology start-up Polaris Solutions, LLC, which provides compliance solutions for global pharmaceutical, medical device and life sciences companies, was approved for up to $1.9 million in Grow NJ tax credits over six years. The company is deciding whether to relocate to New Brunswick or expand at an existing New York City office. The project is associated with 35 new jobs.
The EDA Board meeting took place at the Commercialization Center for Innovative Technology (CCIT), a technology and life sciences incubator located on the campus of the Technology Centre. The Technology Centre campus offers young, growing firms, as well as large established companies, customizable laboratory and production facilities at below-market rent.
As incubators like CCIT are critical to the viability of start-up companies, the Board also approved rules today that will allow the Grow NJ program to support incubator facilities. The new parameters will allow an organization acting as an incubator to apply on behalf of a business that meets the requirements of the program, or a group of non-qualifying businesses or positions located at a qualified business facility.
Other programs available to support the technology and life sciences industry include the Angel Investor Tax Credit program, which provides credits against New Jersey corporation business or gross income tax for 10 percent of a qualified investment in an emerging technology business with a physical presence in New Jersey and that conducts research, manufacturing, or technology commercialization in the state, and the Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer (NOL) Program, which allows unprofitable technology and biotechnology companies to sell New Jersey tax losses and/or research and development tax credits to raise cash to finance their growth and operations.
CCIT also hosts two networking programs to foster relationships that will help entrepreneurs learn and grow their businesses. Launched last year, Founders and Funders introduces entrepreneurs to potential investors in a “speed dating” environment. During events in 2014 and 2015, a total of more 90 entrepreneurs and startups met with investors, paving the way for these emerging companies to attain the funding they need to grow in the State. The next event will take place on October 27, 2015.
The newest initiative unveiled at CCIT is the executive-in-residence program, through which appointed biotechnology executives in transition provide mentoring and coaching to emerging life sciences entrepreneurs. CCIT’s 24 technology and life sciences start-up tenants can seek advice from executives on a range of topics, including business development, commercialization, partnering and licensing. The EDA is currently accepting applications for the second round of Executives-in-Residence. The application progress is rolling and competitive. See www.njeda.com/EIR, for additional information or to apply.
The EDA is part of the state’s results-driven Partnership for Action. Created by Governor Christie and led by Lt. Governor Guadagno, the Partnership is the hub for all economic development activity in New Jersey and is comprised of four interconnected and highly focused organizational elements: Choose New Jersey, the Business Action Center, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and the EDA.Related Articles: