New Jersey is ranked the 5th state in the nation in the percentage of mobile app jobs.Today at Stevens Institute of Technology, U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced the "New Jersey Apps Challenge," a mobile apps competition among three New Jersey universitities.

Open to students, faculty members and alumni from Stevens, Rutgers and NJIT, the "New Jersey Apps Challenge" will acept built from scratch mobile apps through December 31st, 2012. 

A panel of judges will evaluate entries based on overall utility and potential commercial success.  Winners will be selected from each university to meet with the university presidents and one overall winner will meet with Dennis Crowley, CEO of Foursquare to pitch the winning idea.

"New Jersey's students and entrepreneurs are on the cutting edge and the apps challenge will showcase this next generation of New Jersey innovators" said Senator Lautenberg.

New Jersey has all the key ingredients to become a great engine of job-creating innovation, said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

"This contest is a low-cost way for young people to build their business skills and practice being an entrepreneur without quitting their day jobs or interrupting their education."

Lautenberg also introduced the "America Innovates Act" that will spur the growth of high tech jobs and train scientists to turn their discoveries into new products. 

The legislation would provide universities, researchers and private companies with the resources needed and provides industry training for graduate students in science.