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Tech Initiatives Proposed for New Jersey

January 21, 2000

Governor Christie Whitman has announced New Jersey Jobs for a New Economy, a multi-million dollar package of technology-related initiatives to make New Jersey more competitive in the creation of high technology jobs. 

Among the plan's proposals are the following technology-related investments: 

  • $15 million for excellence grants to enable New Jersey's colleges and universities to develop nationally recognized programs of technology in the following fields: computer science and information technology; physical life and health sciences; engineering and engineering technology; and, science and math teacher education.
  • $10 million for matching challenge grants to the universities to attract federal research projects in the same four areas listed above. According to Governor Whitman, New Jersey currently ranks 44th in securing federal R&D funding.
  • $10 million in state matching funds to leverage $30 million from private sources for venture capital investments in high technology firms.
  • $3 million in funds from the WorkFirst New Jersey program to provide computer training to women who are leaving welfare.
  • $5 million for the Commission on Science and Technology to create 10 new technology incubators. The state currently has seven incubators, all administered through the academic sector.
  • $4 million in state matching funds to expand capacity at a northern New Jersey commercialization center. The facility provides affordable space for graduates of the state’s technology incubators. Private funding of $2 million is to be raised to match the state’s investment.
  • $6 million to create a high technology business park in southern New Jersey which will include similar affordable commercialization space for incubator graduates. An $18 million leverage of private funding is anticipated.
  • $2 million for planning grants to New Jersey cities to establish “cyberdistricts,” technology portals providing high speed internet connections and other incentives.
  • $5 million to help the New Jersey Network (NJN) convert from analog to digital transmission. Digital TV will enable NJN to offer multiple channels and a wide range of programs that offer job training for the new economy.
  • The plan includes $37 million for additional upgrades to the state’s computer systems, websites, and e-government services.
  • $2 million for a “New Jersey – the Innovation Garden” marketing campaign.

The plan was conceived by The Edison Partnership, a high technology think tank created by Whitman in 1998. The group is co-chaired by the director of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the presidents of Lucent Technologies and Princeton University.

For more details on the proposal, visit: http://www.state.nj.us/sos2k/initiatives.html  

New Jersey