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Kennedy Bill Establishing Innovation District Designation Program Clears Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – To promote innovation and development and redevelopment of area through public-private partnerships, legislation sponsored by Assemblyman James Kennedy establishing the “Innovation District Designation Program” within the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology cleared the Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology Monday, of which Assemblyman Kennedy serves as Vice-Chair.

“Recognizing and designating certain zones as Innovation Districts will only spur further scientific and technological progress,” said Kennedy (D-Middlesex, Somerset, Union). “Our goal is to transform New Jersey into a hub of innovation and encourage individuals, institutions of higher education and the private sector to work with government to make this a reality.”

Under bill (A-5111), the commission, in consultation with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the Department of Community Affairs and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, would identify criteria for an Innovation District as having:

• The presence of a higher education institution;
• Accessibility to mass transportation facilities and services; and
• Zoning or a redevelopment plan that permits mixed-use development.

The commission would be responsible for establishing an application form and procedure for designation of an Innovation District and to work with the Department of Community Affairs to publicize the Innovation District Designation program and provide links to the application form and procedure on their websites.

The bill now heads to the Speaker’s desk for further consideration.