Groundbreaking at New Brunswick’s future Innovation and Technology Hub

NEW BRUNSWICK – Governor Phil Murphy, Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway, Princeton Provost Deborah Prentice, Hackensack Meridian Hospital CEO Bob Garrett, RWJ Barnabas CEO Barry Ostrowsky, and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, along with other academic, elected, and private sector leaders today broke ground on the historic New Jersey Innovation and Technology Hub, a 550,000 square foot development that will be a center of innovation, research, and medical education in downtown New Brunswick.

Also announced at today’s event was the relocation of the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School to the site and the inclusion of the Rutgers Translational Research facility.

In addition, the County of Middlesex announced today that it will become a new Core Partner in the NJ Innovation & Technology HUB, joining the previously announced Core Partners including Rutgers University, RWJBarnabas Health, Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey Economic Development Authority, and New Brunswick Development Corporation (Devco), as well as the first tenants, Princeton University and Choose NJ.

“This is one of those rare projects that when completed will be even more exciting than our original vision,” said Governor Murphy.  “The addition of the medical school and research facility will make this a one-of-a-kind facility and the medical and scientific breakthroughs made here will be felt for generations.”

“The project announced today has the potential to be the most meaningful and profound investment this state has ever made in the translational research that will take innovation and discovery from the bench to the bedside,” Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway said. “This investment will fuel the kind of innovation that unleashes the combined power of one of America’s greatest public research universities with industry and other academic partners to disrupt and to transform the state and regional economies,” he added.

“A hub where the best of what our state offers in the life-sciences and biotechnology are creatively and strategically brought together is another step closer to being realized today,” said Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin. “Part of our robust plan for a stronger economic future, this project is a significant investment that propels New Jersey and Middlesex County forward as a leader in research and innovation. Creating jobs and fostering our state’s entrepreneurial spirit, this center will be home to new developments and technological advances that help solve some of the world’s greatest medical challenges.”

“In Middlesex County, we are fully invested in building and sustaining an economic eco-system by attracting established and emerging businesses, industry professionals, and investors, all with the goal of fostering a community of innovation,” said Middlesex County Commissioner Director Ronald G. Rios. “The creation of the Innovation HUB not only aligns with that strategy, but contributes to the growth of this eco-system, with the strength of our industry partners like Rutgers, Hackensack Meridian Health, RWJBarnabas Health, NJEDA, DEVCO, and Princeton University, bringing unprecedented prosperity and limitless opportunities to our County seat.”

“When like-minded partners come together to support innovation, we will build a stronger New Jersey together, ” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “In healthcare, the need for collaboration has never been greater. As we have learned in battling COVID-19, when we combine our extraordinary capabilities, we strengthen our communities.”

“At RWJBarnabas Health, we are incredibly proud to support the efforts of our academic partner, Rutgers University, as it expands its capabilities through this new exciting initiative,” said Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and CEO, RWJBarnabas Health. “By broadening its participation in the NJ Innovation & Technology HUB, Rutgers will further galvanize its national leadership position in the areas of research and discovery.”

“I’m delighted for Princeton to join Rutgers, Middlesex County, and the state of New Jersey in celebrating the Hub, a project that reflects our strong shared commitment to strengthening the innovation ecosystem of our state and region,” said Princeton Provost Deborah Prentice. “Princeton aims to advance teaching and research of unsurpassed quality with a pervasive commitment to serve the nation and the world. We believe that the development of a robust and inclusive New Jersey innovation ecosystem advances our work toward that goal, and we look forward to ongoing engagement with the Hub and its partners as we collectively work to transform scientific discoveries into technologies that benefit society and improve everyday lives.”

“We are excited to be taking this first step in bringing the New Jersey Innovation & Technology Hub to life,” said New Brunswick Mayor James Cahill. “New Brunswick will serve as the launch point for discovery and invention with benefits felt worldwide. This will result in endless possibilities that will make the future for the project partners, the State of New Jersey, and the City of New Brunswick that much more exciting.”

“Governor Murphy is dedicated to making New Jersey the State of Innovation with the most diverse, inclusive innovation ecosystem in the country. The Hub is a forward-thinking project that will bring together New Jersey’s public, private, and academic sectors to create a strong base of support and talent pipeline for innovative companies,” said NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan. “The NJEDA is proud to partner with leaders from industry and highly-respected universities to bring this critical project to completion.”

Sullivan noted that the NJEDA will seek approval from its Board for The Hub to be supported as a Strategic Innovation Center.

When completed, the $665 million development will be home to the new Rutgers Translational Research facility, the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the Innovation Hub, and core partner spaces.

The Innovation Center is the cornerstone of the project and will provide modern workspace designed to foster collaboration among researchers, entrepreneurs, start-up companies, and others. The space will include collaborative office, studio and workspace, wet and dry laboratory space, and conference facilities. In addition, the facility will offer significant support and amenity space including a fully equipped makers’ space, ground floor market hall and café, auditorium/multipurpose space, and other facilities.

The Core Partner Space will provide each of the Core Partners and initial tenants with collaborative office and workspace near the Innovation Center, designed to encourage cooperation among innovators in real time.

The project was expanded from its original vision to include the Rutgers Translational Research facility and the new academic medical school building for the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, which will both serve to further drive life sciences in the state already known as the Medicine Chest to the World. Both facilities are components of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS), created by the 2013 merger of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ (UMDNJ) into Rutgers University.

Translational science is the multidisciplinary collaboration among scientists – including researchers, clinicians, biologists, and members of the pharmaceutical industry – to advance research to address unmet medical needs.  As currently planned, the Rutgers Translational Research facility will be among the largest of its kind in the country.  

The co-location of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School adjacent to the RWJBarnabas campus will further enhance medical education in New Jersey. Princeton University, which has an historic collaboration with Rutgers and the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, will also benefit from the facility.

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