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Cryan-Ruiz Bill Creating Innovation Districts Approved by Senate

TRENTON – To promote innovation and development and redevelopment of area through public-private partnerships, legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Cryan and Senator M. Teresa Ruiz establishing the “Innovation District Designation Program” within the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology was approved by the Senate today.

“These designated ‘innovation zones’ are a strategic way to promote progress in science and technology,” said Senator Cryan. “We have some of the best research universities in the country and a growing, high-tech private sector that will transform new ideas into jobs and economic opportunities. We want to keep New Jersey on the cutting edge in the expanding fields of science and technology.”

“Our state has immense potential to become a hub for science and innovation,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “We are home to several top universities and growing urban centers, New Jersey is full of energized and educated young people eager to make a difference in our world and improve the way we live. By encouraging public-private partnerships we can help facilitate the continued growth of both the technology industry and our state’s economy.”

Under bill, S-3590, 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 Senate vote was  37-0.