Government and Industry Leaders Herald Launch of New Jersey Innovation Institute

Government and industry leaders visited the New Jersey Institute of
Technology (NJIT) in Newark to join NJIT President Joel S. Bloom for the
launch of the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), an NJIT
corporation that provides a new model for business innovation through
the leveraging of industry, government, and higher education assets and
investment. U.S. Senator Cory Booker, Panasonic Corp. of North America
Chairman and CEO Joe Taylor, New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim
Guadagno, New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks,
and New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak attended the NJII event and
discussed the importance of this venture as well as its potential to
facilitate economic development through the marriage of industry-driven
agendas and NJIT’s intellectual and technological assets.

Bloom noted NJIT’s long history of partnership with private industry,
saying, “Economic development … is in NJIT’s blood and is expressly
stated as part of our mission. From the very beginning, our university
was created to provide a skilled workforce that could serve New Jersey
industries. And, throughout our history, we have viewed industry as a
true partner, adapting over time and engaging in a range of
business-friendly ventures because we recognize that our success and the
success of our graduates are undeniably intertwined with the success of
New Jersey industry.”

Five sector-focused innovation labs will comprise the Innovation
Institute, and those labs will specialize in developing technological
solutions to challenges identified by industry partners as well as
providing a broad range of related services identified by those
partners. NJII President Don Sebastian said, “We are not repackaging
what NJIT is already producing. We are asking industry what we can do
for them. By following industry-led agendas designed to spur economic
development and business growth, NJII will facilitate product
creation/enhancement and develop technological solutions for sector-wide
and/or company-focused challenges.” The initial sectors supported by
innovation labs include Civil Infrastructure, Defense and Homeland
Security, Healthcare Delivery Systems, Bio-Pharmaceutical Production,
and Financial Services.

Taylor explained that NJII will fill a critical area of need for
manufacturing companies, like Panasonic. “The future for our
companies…in terms of the innovation and technology and the workers of
the future is almost solely dependent upon our relationships with
academia and the universities…The New Jersey Innovation Institute is
perfectly timed.”

U.S. Senator Cory Booker added, “NJII is poised to help industries at
every stage – from the birth of an idea in a lab to refining how that
idea is produced. The New Jersey Innovation Institute is going to help
our state remain one of America’s most important engines for economic
growth and global competitiveness.”

“Today’s announcement shows that there is power in partnerships,” said
Acting Governor Kim Guadagno. “And New Jersey is perfectly positioned to
leverage the state’s academic assets with industry to develop and
nurture economic development opportunities that will generate jobs. Our
administration applauds NJIT on the launch of this exciting venture and
offers our continued support.”

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