Rowan part of new Research with NJ initiative to bridge higher education and industry

Rowan part of new Research with NJ initiative to bridge higher education and industry

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University leadership from across the state and officials from New Jersey’s Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and the Economic Development Authority (EDA) joined Gov. Phil Murphy on Aug. 15 to showcase the newly created Research with NJ database, which will provide access to the State’s cutting-edge research assets, with the goal of strengthening collaboration between academia and industry.

Research with NJ is a free portal that showcases New Jersey’s experts in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), including their professional backgrounds, publications and achievements. The portal is structured and branded in such a way as to encourage collaboration between entrepreneurs, businesses and New Jersey’s academic research institutions. The portal can be accessed at www.ResearchwithNJ.com.

“The Research with NJ initiative supports Gov. Murphy’s vision for a vibrant innovation economy by facilitating collaboration between the State’s vast technology and life sciences sectors and the thousands of university researchers continuously advancing new discoveries,” said EDA CEO Tim Sullivan. “Research with NJ serves as an economic development tool, as it provides a window into labs at our universities, allowing them to serve as a resource to industry and creating opportunities for both companies and academics.”

Research with NJ currently includes nearly 3,500 faculty profiles from five public and private universities: Rowan University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Rutgers — the State University of New Jersey and Stevens Institute of Technology. In addition, data from Montclair State University, which was designated as a research university in 2016, now will be integrated into the Research with NJ database.

“Collaboration between businesses and academic institutions will help to drive New Jersey’s innovation economy by creating opportunities for our institutions of higher education to engage with industry partners on national and global levels,” said Secretary of Higher Education Dr. Zakiya Smith Ellis. “Each university integrated into the database adds visibility into its own unique body of research and the potential for more industry opportunities. We are glad to be working with all of the state’s research universities on this exciting endeavor, and we welcome Montclair State University and its researchers into the collaborative Research with NJ community.”

This robust body of information allows New Jersey’s entrepreneurs and commercial enterprises to readily find a university’s research, experts and facilities to help them build innovative new businesses and products based on the latest scientific and technological breakthroughs. (See Rowan’s section.)

Rowan’s president, Dr. Ali Houshmand, sees Research with NJ as a means to showcase educational, organizational and research capabilities throughout the Garden State. 

“We have exceptional resources in New Jersey, a strong pool of people working in STEM, medicine, business and other fields who are equipped to partner with corporations and government offices on R&D initiatives and more,” Houshmand said. “New Jersey is home to innovation.”

Research with NJ was developed under the leadership of an advisory board consisting of the participating research universities and industry representatives from the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, Choose New Jersey, BioNJ, the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey, the R&D Council of New Jersey and the New Jersey Tech Council. The advisory board will provide oversight and recommendations to ensure the portal’s sustainability and success.

Dr. Beena Sukumaran, Rowan’s vice president of Research, said, “It is important to be a part of this endeavor because it provides a statewide forum to showcase the groundbreaking research being done by leading research universities in the State of New Jersey. It will facilitate industry-university collaboration as well as collaboration among New Jersey universities. In addition, it allows for the university research enterprise to serve as an economic engine to drive growth in the state by allowing for international and national collaborations. It allows government and private entities in the state to quickly identify experts in areas of need and contact them.”

The announcement came on the same day the governor signed a bill re-establishing the former New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology as the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology. Signing the legislation at the Biotechnology Development Center in North Brunswick, along with unveiling Research with NJ, he continued his commitment to strengthen the Garden State’s innovation economy and better connect industry and academia.

“For eight years, New Jersey’s reputation as a hub for technology and innovation languished,” Murphy said. “Today, I’m pleased to sign legislation that re-establishes the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology to spur long-term planning, research and entrepreneurship in the Garden State. When coupled with the Research with NJ database, we now have two new tools to help jumpstart the state’s innovation economy.”

The former New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology was originally created in 1985 and became non-operational in 2010. Sponsors of the legislation include Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, Speaker Craig Coughlin, Assemblyman Christopher DePhillips, former Assemblyman Tim Eustace, as well as Sen. Paul Sarlo and Sen. Robert Singer.

(See what other universities and industry groups are saying about Research with NJ.)