The measure has already been passed in the state Assembly.
The bill would set up the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and Business Partnerships, a 10-member group that would support collaboration between colleges and industry on high-tech, pharmaceutical and science innovation.
The commission would include the state labor commissioner, the state secretary of higher education, the chief executive of the Economic Development Authority, 10 members appointed by the governor and four members appointed by the state Legislature.
The governor's appointees would include the president of a public research university and representatives of business groups, including the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, the New Jersey Business and Industry Association and the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey.
The New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA) said on September 29:
To compete in today’s high-tech global economy, businesses and higher education have to work closer together. That’s why NJBIA supports legislation creating the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and Business Partnerships, which was approved today by the Senate Higher Education Committee.
“The challenge has been in taking these assets and ensuring that they are working together to create a competitive innovation ecosystem,” Seville said.
“The commission would bring together leaders in academia, business and state government to identify and stimulate academic-business collaborations,” Seville said. “The commission would help develop economic growth in life sciences, information technology and telecommunications industries that will drive economic growth for the foreseeable future.
The commission, which would include NJBIA as one of its members, would report annually on ways to stimulate academic-industrial collaboration in R&D and workforce development.
The legislation would also create an executive director who would act as an ombudsman, assisting business and industry in making the appropriate contacts in higher education to foster partnerships.
“We need to leverage the innovative work being done in our academic institutions to attract successful companies that thrive on innovation,” Seville said. “This has been a goal for NJBIA for several years now, and this commission will be an effective way of achieving it.
“Collaboration between business, higher education and state government is critical for our state to maintain its global edge and vital for a robust high-tech economy,” Seville said, adding that the commission would keep the focus on technology-based economic development with its annual reporting requirements and broad membership.”