“The State must take all reasonable steps to fortify our military bases, and it must take them now. New Jersey must demonstrate with a unified voice that it is military friendly and that the retention of missions not only makes strategic sense, but also makes economic sense,” said Acting Governor Guadagno. “This is not a Republican or Democrat issue or a red or blue issue. It’s a red, white and blue issue on which we all can agree. Only together can we protect the military bases that provide so much to our communities.”
The Task Force report presents a series of recommendations for the state, local governments, interested stakeholders, and impacted communities to help improve the vitality of the state’s military installations and their supporting industries and inform New Jersey’s federal representatives. These suggestions include:
a) Develop Targeted State Incentive Programs for Businesses Working with Military Installations
Creating an environment that facilitates innovation supports our bases and leads to symbiotic relationships between the installations and the industry that surrounds them. For example, New Jersey ranks sixth in the nation for space and defense manufacturing. The state offers various incentives and programs to facilitate innovation, including the technology business tax certificate transfer program and the angel investor tax credit program. Incentives exist to foster innovation. For example, the technology business tax certificate transfer program enables approved technology and biotechnology businesses with net operating losses (NOL) to sell their unused NOL carryover and unused R&D tax credits to a corporate taxpayer in New Jersey. Another example is the angel investor tax credit program that provides credits against New Jersey corporation business or gross income tax for ten percent of a qualified investment in an emerging technology business. Despite those and other tools, the state must better encourage innovation related to the significant research and development functions of our state’s military installations. As an initial matter, the state must better educate entrepreneurs, innovators, and potential military contractors about the numerous tools available to them to encourage innovation related to the missions of our military installations.
e) Develop Asset Management Databases of New Jersey Resources
One hurdle often faced by innovative start-up businesses, including those supporting DOD and the military, is identifying resources such as equipment and laboratory space at a university or research projects and professor specialties. Most universities house data regarding research and development as well as faculty specialties and equipment in private databases. The Task Force recommends – through the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) and the Council on Innovation – creating a combined, public higher education asset management database. This database would be a centralized web space able to inventory our higher education institutions’ assets to further strengthen the existing connections between higher education and the state’s economic ecosystem in a tangible, meaningful way. This publically shared database will allow all resources of higher education to be leveraged by innovative startups – including those cutting edge companies seeking to do business with our state’s military installations. This information should include, among other things: • Faculty contact information and research areas; • Patented technologies; • Research centers, facilities, and equipment; • Published academic articles; and • Information about university-based incubators and accelerators. This database will fill an information void and facilitate collaboration, thereby allowing the exploitation of synergies between institutions of higher education among themselves and with New Jersey’s defense industry
In addition to the Acting Governor, Task Force members included Brigadier General Michael L. Cunniff, Adjutant General of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Melissa Orsen, CEO of the Economic Development Authority, Michele Brown, President and CEO of Choose New Jersey, the Honorable Jim Saxton, former Congressman, and Paul Boudreau, President of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce.
For a full copy of the report, click HERE