Government and industry leaders visited the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) today 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 Lieutenant 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."
The New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) is an NJIT corporation that applies the intellectual and technological resources of the New Jersey Institute of Technology to challenges identified by industry partners. Through innovation labs following industry-led agendas, NJII spurs product creation and enhancement, develops technology solutions, and drives regional economic growth. Visit http://www.