“Congratulations to Innovation NJ on five successful years of supporting and encouraging our vibrant innovation community,” said Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. “From Angel Investors and incubators to Fortune 500 companies and research institutions, the members of this community collaborate to support one another. Thanks to Innovation NJ and its partners, we are uniquely positioned to strengthen our position as leaders in innovation and growth.”
“I join today in celebrating Innovation NJ’s fifth anniversary, and I congratulate Haskell Berman and Melanie Willoughby for their energetic leadership of this important and influential organization. Haskell and Melanie are among my most trusted advisers,” said Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks. “Their consistent, diligent commitment to New Jersey’s economic prosperity has helped higher education establish new relationships with business and industry. They have been exceptional partners as we work to build an effective and active Council on Innovation, and I look forward to our future collaborations with enthusiasm and high expectations of success.”
“We founded the Innovation NJ to focus on the needs of New Jersey’s innovator industries, the historic backbone of the state’s economy, and the R&D resources needed to attract new innovator companies to the state” said Haskell Berman, senior vice president – state affairs, HealthCare Institute of New Jersey and co-founder of Innovation NJ. “The growth of the coalition and the impact it has had over the past five years has truly surpassed our imagination.”
“New Jersey has always had the pieces for a world-class innovation ecosystem – leading innovator industries, nationally renowned research universities, and one of the most highly educated workforces in the world. Innovation NJ is pleased to have been the catalyst to bring these parties together in the common pursuit of building an innovation ecosystem that will retain and attract innovator companies and jobs, encourage entrepreneurship, and support discovery and commercialization of new products and processes,” said Melanie Willoughby, chief government affairs officer of NJBIA and co-founder of Innovation NJ.
“We want to thank our industry partners, the state’s higher education leaders, the Administration, particularly Lt. Governor Guadagno and Secretary of Higher Education Hendricks and the Legislature, for their support and contributions to our mission to create a culture of innovation in the state and reaffirm New Jersey’s position as a global research hub,” added Berman.
“NJPRO is delighted to have contributed the research that resulted in the blueprint for building New Jersey’s innovation ecosystem,” said John Rogers, chairman of New Jersey Policy Research Organization (NJPRO) Foundation. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Innovation NJ to create a culture to support and expand New Jersey’s innovation economy.”
The keynote address was given by Dr. Tony Boccanfuso, president of the University Industry Demonstration Partnership in Washington D.C. He discussed how New Jersey is headed in the right direction and the growing trend of universities serving as hubs to spur innovation and economic development.
The fifth anniversary event included a panel discussion on university-industry collaboration, moderated by NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka, that focused on three examples of such collaboration—New Jersey Innovation Institute and Medi Coupe; Rowan University and Lockheed Martin; and Rutgers University and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Another panel looked at the future of collaboration and innovation in New Jersey with moderator Dean Paranicas, HINJ president and CEO, with New Jersey Innovation Institute President Dr. Donald Sebastian; Rowan University Senior Vice President for Health Sciences Dr. Kenneth Blank; Rutgers University Senior Vice President for Research and Economic Development Dr. Christopher Molloy; Stevens Institute of Technology Vice Provost for Research Dr. Mo Dehghani; and Princeton University Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations Coleen Burrus. *