Scroll Top

Zwicker Joins New Jersey Biotechnology Task Force to Issue Recommendations to Boost State’s Biotechnology Sector

Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker and Vice-chair of the New Jersey Biotechnology Task Force today helped issue the Task Force’s final report to encourage the growth of the State’s biotechnology sector. The Task Force was established in December 2017 pursuant to P.L. 2016, Joint Resolution No. 5, to recognize the pivotal role the biotechnology industry plays in the state’s economic activity, jobs, and tax revenues.

The Task Force met with and accepted testimony from representatives in the life sciences industry and in New Jersey’s academic institutions. Testimony focused on existing efforts related to industry collaboration and technology transfer (as well as gaps and challenges); government and private resources; and strategic partnerships that have been leveraged to support continued growth of the life sciences industry in New Jersey. This testimony provided a framework for the recommendations contained in the final report.

“The potential for growth in our state’s innovation is tremendous, and bolstering our life sciences sector is critical to realizing that potential,” Zwicker said (D-Somerset/Mercer/Middlesex/Hunterdon).

“The Task Force report provides the state, and every stakeholder, a road map for identifying gaps and buildings on the enviably rich resources already in place in our state’s life sciences ecosystem. The report also confirms what many of us have known for a while: that the state must make strategic investments in the life sciences industry in New Jersey in order to regain our place as the nation’s life sciences leader.”

The Task Force focused its recommendations on improvements that are needed in five key areas that are especially important in moving New Jersey forward. The following five areas and related recommendations represent key priorities for action and investment in New Jersey’s life sciences ecosystem:

· Translational Research Culture
o Restore the Commission on Science and Technology
o Provide Support to Better Compete for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) Funding
o Establish a Tax Credit for Private Investment into University Technology Advancement Funds and State Match of Investments from Technology Advancement Funds into Intellectual Property

· Entrepreneurial Culture and Capital
o Increase Availability of Technical Assistance by Scaling Existing Programs across New
Jersey Incubator/Accelerator Network
o Support Executive Spin-Outs
o Increase and Enhance the Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program (NOL)
o Incentivize Investment into New Jersey Venture Fund
o Enhance the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program
o Increase Funding for Edison Innovation Fund and NJ CoVest Fund

· Workforce
o Support the I-Corps Model and Specialized Training and Mentoring to Help Bring Discovery to Marketplace
o Create New Jersey Talent Retention Internships Program
o Restore the Technology Fellowship Program
o Provide State Match of Non-Profit Research Grant Funding

· Infrastructure
o Support Biomanufacturing and Biobanks
o Create an Inventory of Multi-Tenant Operators and Increase State Support for Innovation Districts
o Establish a New Jersey “Orphan Drug” Tax Credit
o Enhance the Research and Development Tax Credit
o Adopt a State-level Section 1202 Incentive
o Develop a Capital Gains Incentive Program

· Ecosystem
o Coordinate Marketing Efforts Surrounding Existing Resources and New Jersey Brand
o Create and Support New Jersey Centers for Excellence
o Create a State-Supported Forum to Bring Physicians Together to Share Information about New Jersey-Based Clinical Trial Activity
o Create a Catalyst for New Jersey’s Life Sciences Innovation Ecosystem

The Task Force is comprised of six legislative members, including Senator Linda Greenstein
(D-Mercer, Middlesex), former Senator Robert Gordon (D-Bergen, Passaic), Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean), Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-Somerset/Mercer/Middlesex/Hunterdon), former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-Somerset/Mercer/Middlesex/Hunterdon), and Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Bergen, Passaic); two public members, including Debbie Hart, President and CEO of BioNJ, and Daniel O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer of OncoSec Medical Incorporated; and, Timothy Lizura, President and Chief Operating Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA), serving in an ex-officio capacity. Debbie Hart was selected by the Task Force to serve as Chair and Assemblyman Zwicker as Vice Chair. The EDA serves as staff to the Task Force.
A full copy of the report can be accessed via