The Council’s accomplishments include establishing the state’s first-ever statewide STEM Week, raising the funds for the construction of the Liberty Science Center, supporting R&D tax credits for research entities and founding a scholarship program for community college students in STEM-related majors.
Each year, the Council recognizes and publicizes pioneering New Jersey inventors for their contributions to R&D and honors them and their organizations with the Council’s distinguished Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award. At last year’s awards, 13 research organizations and more than 50 inventors were celebrated for their achievements.
The Council is also tackling industry trends head on with the Governor’s STEM Scholars program to ensure that New Jersey maintains its place as an innovative hub. By 2018, New Jersey will need to fill more than 269,000 STEM jobs. The Governor’s STEM Scholars Program is a unique public-private partnership developed among leading companies, the Governor’s Office, the NJ Department of Education and the Secretary of Higher Education, established to ensure continuity in excellence in NJ’s STEM talent pipeline. In its inaugural year, the program is comprised of a diverse group of New Jersey’s best and brightest high school and college students. Rather than relying on chance encounters, the scholars are exposed to New Jersey’s STEM economy in a comprehensive introduction to all the state’s STEM resources from research institutions, industry professionals and cutting-edge research topics.
The Council knows that strong STEM states lead the world in developing life-saving medicines, protecting the environment and driving innovation that improve our lives. Unlike other states, New Jersey has the people, institutions and infrastructure that generate research and development. The Council will continue to bring together those who are pioneering research and shine a light on the state’s achievements to ensure that innovation remains synonymous with New Jersey.