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Public-private partnerships bringing high-tech jobs in NJ, report says

Birmingham Women's Hospital Offers Technological Advances In Its Care
(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

A new report finds new partnerships and collaborations between the public and private sectors are helping to strengthen New Jersey’s high-tech industry and create more jobs.

The report, The Road to an Innovation Ecosystem,” was prepared the NJ Policy Research Organization, an affiliate of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association advocacy group.

Tyler Seville — who is both the associate director of education and workforce development for the association, and the executive director of Innovation New Jersey, a coalition of businesses, academic institutions and trade associations — said the report finds over the past five years “business, academia and state government have all kind of come together and made headway to support the high-tech industries that we have here in New Jersey.”

He said the result of this collaboration is increased funding and opportunities for high-tech startups and increased training opportunities. It gives the Garden State the ability to compete with other states and countries to attract and develop new high-tech businesses, he said.

“This collaboration has created additional jobs. It’s created additional funding opportunities for businesses that might not have gotten a shot already,” he said. “And it’s supporting small businesses as well — small businesses, startups, companies and entrepreneurs that really (had) not gotten a shot here in New Jersey.”

Seville said these companies and individuals are now able to partner with organizations like the Economic Development Authority, as well as academic institutions like Rutgers, Rowen and NJIT to meet their research and development needs.

“Many of our academic institutions have a variety of excellent research assets and equipment,” he said. “And businesses are now able to utilize these facilities, to help foster their own ideas, which of course create jobs.”

He adds Jersey’s recent higher education restructuring has also helped the life-sciences sector in the state.

“The bottom line is these things can help improve individuals’ lives,” he said.

In a prepared statement, NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka said New Jersey “has a heritage as a place that promotes innovation. Historically, it’s been the home of Thomas Edison, Bell Labs, the top pharmaceutical companies in the nation and much more. To continue that tradition, we have to change how we do things.  We need smart, aggressive initiatives that will leverage the strengths of both higher education and the business community.”

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