The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) announced that, pursuant to P.L.2017, c.221, Grow NJ applications are now available that allow for increased tax credits to businesses that are located in proximity to and engaged in qualified collaborative research agreements with New Jersey colleges or universities.
Per statute, businesses may qualify for the highest base tax credit amount available under Grow NJ ($5,000 per job/per year) if the business is located in the newly established “Garden State Create Zone,” defined as a business in a targeted industry whose facility is located at or within three miles of one of New Jersey’s eight doctoral universities, and the facility is used to conduct a qualified collaborative research relationship with that university. The eight doctoral universities include: Montclair State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Rowan University, Rutgers University – New Brunswick, Rutgers University – Newark, Seton Hall University, and Stevens Institute of Technology.
Separate from the Garden State Create Zone, a bonus tax credit ($1,000 per job/per year) is now available for businesses in a targeted industry whose facility is located at or within three miles of a New Jersey college or university other than the eight doctoral universities, and the facility is used to conduct a qualified collaborative research relationship with that university. The full list of 40 institutions that meet this definition can be found at www.njeda.com/GrowNJ.
“These enhancements to the Grow New Jersey Program will establish a wider pathway to discovery by facilitating research relationships between the brightest minds in industry and academia,” said EDA President and Chief Operating Officer Timothy Lizura. “By cultivating an environment where this joint research can operate and thrive, we will ensure that New Jersey stays at the forefront of innovation.”
In consultation with the Secretary of Higher Education, and informed by the 2010 Building Bridges report issued by the New Jersey Policy Research Organization (NJPRO), the EDA will evaluate prospective collaborative research relationships based on the ability to meet one of the four following categories: direct university collaboration or joint initiative or participation wherein the college or university partners with the business, and may include other business in a similar field of science, to advance an area of science; sponsored research wherein the eligible business directly funds a college or university and pays for research to solve a specific problem; grants or fellowships wherein funding is provided directly by a business to a professor or graduate student to advance a specific area of science; and, corporate sponsored awards for entrepreneurship wherein a business sponsors an award to be given to a student-developed technology start-up or innovation.
As Grow New Jersey is a program designed to encourage prospective economic development activity which would not have occurred if not for the incentive, these increased collaborative research tax credits will only be available for qualified prospective agreements and will not recognize existing agreements that have been executed prior to application. However, once a project application is approved by EDA, the prospective agreement must be executed and research demonstrating advancement before the business can ultimately claim the increased tax credits.