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Pilot Programs Focus on Nanotechnology and Entrepreneurial Assistance

Trenton- The New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology today announced plans for new programs based on a High Tech Recovery Plan to halt erosion of high-tech jobs and grow the tech-based economy in New Jersey.

In keeping with the Plan's recommendations, the Commission reviewed its current resources and earmarked $2.35 million of FY 06 funding for pilot programs promoting nanotechnology and entrepreneurial partnerships with universities.

"The Commission believes now is the time for New Jersey to have a clear science and technology policy" said Commission Chairman Donald L. Drakeman. "So the Commission is putting our own resources on the table to begin moving the High Tech Recovery Plan forward."

The Commission today forwarded a final version of the High Tech Recovery Plan to Governor-Elect Corzine, adopting a resolution expressing eagerness to work with the new administration to implement needed programs.

As the agency charged with promoting science and technology in New Jersey, the Commission today took initial steps to seed programs implementing the High Tech Recovery Plan.

As an initial step, the Commission today approved:

  • An Entrepreneurial Partnering Fund pilot program providing grants to companies for specific commercialization projects in partnership with New Jersey research universities ($2 million).
  • A Seed Fund for a statewide Nanotechnology Initiative ($350,000)
  • Additional funding for:
    • Technology Incubator programs ($1.4 million)
    • Commercializing University Intellectual Property program ($1.85 million)
    • New Jersey Institute of Technology Business Accelerator ($200,000)
    • Small Business Innovation Research Assistance ($45,000)

These programs reflect strategies identified in a High Tech Recovery Plan developed by the Commission in collaboration with New Jersey's high-tech community. The Plan is based on an economic analysis prepared for the Commission by Rutgers University economists James Hughes and Joseph Seneca of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.

The report, "An Economy at Risk: The Imperatives for a Science and Technology Policy for New Jersey" documents erosion of New Jersey's key technology-based economic assets and called for action to salvage the state's high-tech community. The report is available at www.state.nj.us/scitech

"The Rutgers analysis we requested clearly showed New Jersey losing its high-tech edge," Dr. Drakeman said. "We look forward to working with Governor Corzine on strategies and programs to revive New Jersey's technology leadership role."