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Sarlo/Sweeney Measure To Ratify Smart Compact Passes Senate

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 approved by the Senate 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.

“In order for New Jersey’s innovation-based economy to continue to grow, we need to be both competitive and cooperative,” said Senator Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic. “The SMART compact allows us to develop partnerships and collaborations among the research and business communities in the Mid-Atlantic states that will promote cooperation within our region and make us more competitive with other regions like Silicon Valley in California or the Research Triangle in North Carolina.”

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.

“It’s logical to partner with Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania in the SMART Compact, as each state has high-tech resources that would work effectively together,” 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 creates a critical mass that allows us access to opportunities that would not be available as individual states.”

The bill would take effect immediately following enactment. It was passed by the Senate by a vote of 38-0 and now goes to the Assembly for their consideration.

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