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Sarlo/Sweeney Measure to Ratify SMART Compact Passes Committee

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senators Paul Sarlo and Stephen Sweeney that would encourage interstate collaboration among the Mid-Atlantic region in promoting technology was unanimously approved by the Senate Economic Growth Committee today.

The bill, S-2703, would ratify the Strengthening the Mid Atlantic Region for Tomorrow (SMART) Research and Development Compact. The Compact would establish a collaborative Science and Technology Organization to promote cooperation and information exchange across the Mid-Atlantic region.

“The SMART compact strengthens the efforts New Jersey continues to make to remain one of the world’s top innovation-based economies,” said Senator Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic. “By developing partnerships and collaborations among the research and business communities in the Mid-Atlantic states, we will create a critical mass of economic and workforce resources that will allow us to better compete with other regions like Silicon Valley or the Research Triangle.”

The SMART organization would be charged with bringing research and development dollars to the mid-Atlantic region by promoting collaborations and partnerships among businesses, academic institutions, Federal and State governmental agencies, laboratories, and nonprofit entities within Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

“By partnering with Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania in the SMART Compact, we will be able to use our high tech resources more effectively,” said Senator Sweeney, D-Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem. “Through the collaboration of our academic institutions and technology companies, our four states will be able to more effectively compete for federal research dollars and excel in promising new technology fields. It presents us with opportunities that would not be available on our own.”

The bill would take effect immediately following enactment. It was passed by the Committee by a vote of 5-0 and now goes to the full Senate for their consideration.

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