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Senator Bob Smith, D-Middlesex, the Chair of the Senate Environment Committee, speaks to participants at a joint hearing of the Senate Environment Committee and the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee in Toms River on off-shore liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals off the Jersey coast and public access to New Jersey’s beaches.

Legislation sponsored by Senators Bob Smith and Raymond Lesniak that would assist in breakthroughs in finance, mathematics, medicine and other applied science by connecting the state’s data networks was approved today by the full Senate.

“In our current day and age, progress and technological breakthroughs are dependent upon our ability to share information in a timely and reliable manner across cyber networks,” said Senator Smith, D-Middlesex and Somerset. “Having a stable and secure information system – both publically and privately – will allow New Jersey to stay on the cutting-edge of medical, mathematic and science research and to improve the effectiveness of industry, academia and government.”

The bill, S-581, would require coordination between the Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute, the Office of Information Technology, and the New Jersey Big Data Alliance to create an advanced cyberinfrastructure strategic plan. Within the plan would be a roadmap for the development of a shared data cloud that integrates data infrastructure, hosted data and data analytics. The Big Data Alliance is a consortium consisting of Rutgers University, Princeton University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, RowanUniversity, the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, KeanUniversity, MontclairStateUniversity and the Stevens Institute of Technology.

“By using this public and private partnership, we can develop in the state of New Jersey an advanced computer network that connects businesses, researchers and students to more advanced software,” said Senator Lesniak, D-Union. “With these advancements, we can look forward to more breakthroughs by New Jerseyans in the sciences, medical field and mathematics, putting New Jersey at the forefront of technological achievements of the future.”

The bill was approved by the Senate with a vote of 37-0. It now heads to the General Assembly for further consideration.

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