In an effort to expand and enhance New Jersey’s research and innovation ecosystem, Rutgers Office for Research’s Innovation Ventures announced it will participate in a technology transfer partnership with the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities (NJASCU).
Innovation Ventures, part of the Office for Research (OfR) and responsible for all Rutgers’ technology commercialization and transfer, will provide information and guidance to eight New Jersey state colleges and universities: Kean University, Montclair State University, New Jersey City University (NJCU), Ramapo College, Stockton University, The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), Thomas Edison State University and William Paterson University. The partnership aims to advance these schools’ entrepreneurial efforts for the research conducted on their campuses.
The idea for the partnership came from the NJASCU, of which Kean, NJCU, Ramapo, Stockton, TCNJ, Thomas Edison State, and William Paterson are all members.
Rutgers Office for Research, primarily through Innovation Ventures, will guide these higher education institutions on processes related to intellectual property, such as patenting, licensing, and overall commercialization, to help the schools work to transform their innovations into products, services, and partnerships.
“Rutgers research is a key cog in the New Jersey innovation ecosystem, and the university takes that responsibility very seriously,” said Michael E. Zwick, Rutgers Office for Research senior vice president for Research. “This partnership promotes a more inclusive innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem in the state and encourages collaboration among researchers at our publicly supported institutions of higher learning.”
“Innovation Ventures is proud to lead the Office for Research’s efforts in this partnership,” said Deborah Perez Fernandez, acting executive director for Innovation Ventures. “Innovation and entrepreneurship are and always have been a group effort, and this joint venture will help foster potential collaborations between researchers across all institutions.”
Gene Lepore, Executive Director of NJASCU said, “Our institutions are getting more involved in the research and innovation space, but they lack a sophisticated tech transfer infrastructure. We thought there might be an opportunity to work with one of our research peer institutions in this area, and of course Rutgers, as the research flagship, was at the top of the list. We are extremely grateful that Rutgers’ Office for Research through its Innovation Ventures department agreed to share their research infrastructure, knowledge, and experience with us.”
Increasingly, NJASCU members are becoming more involved in the innovation and entrepreneurship space. Kean was recently designated the State’s first urban research university by the state of New Jersey and hosts the Institute of Life, Science Entrepreneurship (ILSE), a life science technology accelerator based at the school’s STEM Building. TCNJ features a School of Business Center for Innovation and Ethics. Montclair State, although not an NJASCU member, is a research institution as well and will be part of the technology transfer partnership.
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and the NJASCU will begin with a one-year trial period to better understand the volume of research and technology transfer that is taking place at each of the NJASCU’s members to gauge the needs of each of the institutions and Rutgers’ capacity to help relative to those needs.
“From the beginning of this process, we’ve been so appreciative of the work and the time that the Rutgers Office for Research and Innovation Ventures have put into this endeavor,” added Lepore. “Rutgers is embracing its role as the flagship research institution of the state of New Jersey, sharing its resources with smaller schools who are growing and developing a larger research portfolio, for no monetary compensation, and for that we are grateful.”
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