Gov. Phil Murphy has announced the state is supporting a plan to develop a Center for innovation and research in downtown New Brunswick.

During a meeting at Rutgers University with academic, corporate and political leaders, the governor said the facility, to be built in a vacant lot across the street from the NJ Transit train station in New Brunswick, will support the state’s economic future by housing research, start-up and incubation companies.

He did not offer any specifics about what companies, agencies or other organizations would be situated in the Hub, but he stressed it is part of an ongoing effort to create a stronger, fairer New Jersey that works for everybody.

“On the stronger side is growing the darn economy, and we think the two big economies that have the most upside are the infrastructure economy — and there’s lots of infrastructure that goes with this — and the innovation economy," he said.

Governor Murphy (center) in New Brunswick. David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ

He said the New Jersey Economic Development Authority will begin a planning and implementation study to develop the project.

Murphy pointed out we have 15 incubators in New Jersey, while New York has 179,. He said “things like this innovation Hub will go right at the heart of moving that needle aggressively.”

“This is not a ribbon-cutting ceremony. This is the first step in a long journey that will take a long time, but it is a journey that will be worth it. It is one of those 1-plus-1-equals-3 opportunities.”

Murphy said the project, which will take at least a few years to complete, is about developing new companies and ideas.

“There’s lots of job creation for big and small, and lots of research potential across the board," he said.

When asked about the price of the project and who will pay for it, he said “I don’t think you can say how much this will cost yet."

"It’s too early to tell. "The folks who will wind up paying for this will be a broad range of folks," he said.

He added “I hope a big payer of this is a very significant support over time from the United States federal government.”

New Brunswick Mayor James Cahill said the plan will be a great opportunity for New Brunswick and the entire state.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.

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