Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean toured the Murray Hill headquarters of Bell Labs with company President Marcus Weldon and unveiled new legislation to create jobs by fostering innovation in New Jersey.
“Bell Labs is a tremendously successful asset for New Jersey and its economy, and I am proud to stand with Marcus and have his support as we seek to increase opportunities and create high-paying jobs with this new set of bills to foster innovation,” Kean said. “This legislation will help expand research and development efforts, as well as create greater avenues for success by linking higher education and business communities. These bills can open doors to help impressive employers like Bell Labs grow here and attract more job creators by showing that New Jersey is devoted to staying a force for innovation.”
“Bell Labs is a key innovation engine driving the global communications industry,” said Marcus Weldon, President of Bell Labs. “This initiative aims to ensure that New Jersey continues to be a leading player on the global stage and that our heritage of invention continues at Bell Labs.”
As announced on October 1, this “Fostering Innovation” event marks the beginning of Senate Republicans’ statewide rollout of a new six-tiered job creation and economic growth package, which will not cost taxpayers extra money and should easily attract bipartisan sponsors and support.
Here is a briefing of the fostering innovation bills unveiled today at Bell Labs:
- Creates a post-doctoral fellowship program for cutting edge industrial research and development at New Jersey businesses. This bill will support employers engaged in innovation, and it will also develop the future workforce pipeline that New Jersey needs to remain competitive. (S-2442, sponsored by Senator Kean and Senate Democrat Paul Sarlo, ).
- Creates an entrepreneurial fellowship program to foster entrepreneurial spirit and support STEM start-ups. Such fellowships will encourage start-up businesses with new ideas that will drive innovation in New Jersey (S-2723, sponsored by Senate Republican Christopher “Kip” Bateman).
- Establishes permanent funding for the Commission on Cancer Research. The Commission has gone through ups and downs in recent budget cycles, but permanent funding through the underutilized Workforce Development Partnership Fund will solidify this worthy program and help attract top scientists to New Jersey to find cures for cancer and improve the innovation economy. (S-2758, sponsored by Senate Republican Senator Anthony Bucco).
- Establishes a permanent commission on higher education-business partnerships to perform such functions as supporting partnerships; fostering innovation in the economy; maximizing community colleges role in workforce development; and establishing a higher education ombudsman to help business navigate the higher education community and support collaborations such as keeping clinical trials in New Jersey and promoting technology transfers. (S-2864, sponsored by Senate Republican Tom Kean).
- Creates within the New Jersey Economic Development Authority a technology transfer assistance program. Getting new ideas and products to market can be a daunting task, and a designated office in the state EDA will be a great resource for professors and entrepreneurs alike to stimulate New Jersey’s innovation economy. (S-2720, sponsored by Senate Republican Robert Singer and Senate Democrat Paul Sarlo).
- Provides for the designation by the New Jersey EDA of institutions of higher education or other qualified entities as manufacturing and production resource centers. This program can support manufacturers’ efforts to modernize, and become more productive and efficient. (S-2722, sponsored by Senate Republican Robert Singer and Senate Democrat Paul Sarlo).
- Allows for crowdfunding investment opportunities to spur entrepreneurship and innovation in New Jersey. Crowdfunding is an easy and convenient way for entrepreneurs and innovators to get their ideas to market via online private investments. This bill breaks down existing barriers in New Jersey. (S-712, sponsored by Senate Republican Joe Kyrillos and Senate Democrat Ray Lesniak).
- Makes New Jersey a hub for driverless car research, development and production. (S-734, Sponsored by Senator Kean).
In the coming weeks, the media will be advised as Senate Republicans tour the state to help grow the economy and create opportunities for people, by unveiling more new legislation in these five remaining categories of the jobs bill package:
- Lowering Excessive Costs
- Reducing Burdensome Regulations
- Developing New Jersey’s Workforce
- Enhancing Tourism & Agriculture
- Improving New Jersey’s Economic Development Policies & Programs