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Schaer, Lampitt & Benson Bill to Encourage Greater Collaboration between Business and Higher Education Communities Clears Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gary Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic), Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington) and Dan Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex) to encourage more collaboration between New Jersey’s businesses and institutions of higher education to help spur job creation and boost the economy was released Monday by an Assembly panel.

“Fostering collaboration between our higher education institutions and our business community is vital to encourage innovation,” said Schaer. “By using existing assets we are learning from what other states have done successfully. We should invest in our future.”

“New Jersey is home to top-notch research universities and cutting edge industries. Not having these entities work together is a wasted opportunity,” said Lampitt. “This can help produce the type of collaboration that can foster greater innovation and propel our economy forward.”

“New Jersey loses many of its college-bound students to other states, denying the state and its workforce of valuable brainpower,” said Benson. “If we create better career development opportunities for students through these partnerships, they will be more likely to stay in New Jersey.”

The bill (A-4432) would allow a business located within a three-mile geographic area surrounding the campus of a New Jersey public research university and having a collaborative research relationship with the university, designated under the bill as a “Garden State Create Zone,” to receive base and bonus tax credits for job creation and retention activity under the Grow New Jersey Assistance (Grow NJ) Program.

Additionally, the bill allows a business within a three-mile geographic area surrounding the campus of a state college or university, a county college, or an independent institution of higher education and having a collaborative research relationship with these entities, to receive bonus tax credits under the Grow NJ Program. The EDA would be required, under the bill, to establish guidelines of the collaborative research relationship in consultation with the Department of Higher Education.

The bill was approved by the Assembly Budget Committee.