The Commission on Science, Innovation, and Technology (CSIT) is responsible for strengthening the innovation economy within New Jersey, encouraging collaboration and connectivity between industry and academia, and the translating of innovations into successful high-growth businesses. CSIT is committed to advancing innovation-based economic development and job growth, and to creating a stronger, fairer economy for all New Jersey citizens by keeping the Garden State at the forefront of scientific and technological innovations.
CSIT links and leverages resources and collaborates with other New Jersey agencies to implement programs and policies to address the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, especially gaps in services and support for early-stage startups focused on technology commercialization with the potential for high growth and further investment. Emphasis is also placed on programs that drive increased academic- industrial cooperation and accelerate the commercialization of new technologies from New Jersey’s public and private research institutions. CSIT initiatives:
- Support and coordinate activities to assist early-stage science, innovation, and technology entrepreneurs;
- Stimulate and promote strong academic/industrial cooperation to accelerate the commercialization of new technologies from public and private research institutions;
- Encourage and propel the development of scientific and technological programs in areas of strategic importance;
- Enhance science, innovation, and technology policy decision-making at all levels of State government.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion underpin CSIT activities. In order to bring new ideas and innovations to the market and fuel New Jersey’s economic growth, everyone needs to be able to contribute. Consistent with this approach, a major pillar of all CSIT programs is increased intentional and targeted outreach to female and minority entrepreneurs and communities that have historically had limited participation in the innovation economy. Currently, approximately 25 percent of the applicants to CSIT grant programs are self-identified female entrepreneurs, and 10 percent are underrepresented minority entrepreneurs.
CSIT offers a range of grant programs to assist early-stage entrepreneurs with Research & Development (R&D) — from ideation through commercialization. Seed grants support technology development, pilot demonstration awards enable companies to further test products in real world settings, and R&D vouchers offset the cost of accessing unique specialized equipment at New Jersey universities, maker spaces, and federal and non-profit laboratories. Funding awards range from $25,000 to $250,000. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has provided funding for a suite of clean technology programs.
Catalyst & Clean Tech R&D Voucher Programs:
The goal of the Voucher programs is to 1) improve awareness, access to, and utilization of equipment, facilities, and makerspaces at New Jersey’s world-leading universities and federal laboratories. and 2) subsidize access to R&D equipment, facilities and maker spaces for small New Jersey-based companies that are developing innovative technologies.
Catalyst Seed R&D Grant Program:
The goal of the Catalyst Seed R&D Grant Program is to help New Jersey-based early-stage innovation-focused companies accelerate the development of technologies to transform new discoveries from the research stage into commercially viable products and services. Applicants developing life sciences therapeutics can apply for grants of up to $150,000, while all other applicants are eligible to apply for grants of up to $75,000.
Clean Tech Seed R&D Grant Program:
The goal of this program is to help New Jersey-based early-stage cleantech/clean energy companies accelerate research and development and innovation of clean technologies to transform new discoveries from the research stage into commercially viable technologies, leading to industry and investor interest. The program is for companies developing or testing clean technologies intended to avoid emissions of, or recapture, greenhouse gases. Applicants can apply for grants of up to $75,000.
Clean Tech Pilot Demonstration Grant Program:
The goal of the Clean Tech Pilot Demonstration Program is to help New Jersey-based companies accelerate the commercialization and deployment of innovative clean energy technologies by demonstrating capabilities in a real-world setting. Companies must be developing or testing clean technologies intended to avoid emissions of, or recapture, greenhouse gases and/or criteria pollutants, or to enable such avoidance or recapture. Applicants can apply for grants of up to $250,000.
Maternal / Infant Health Seed R&D Grant Program:
The goal of the Maternal and Infant Health R&D Grant Program is to support innovation from researchers and entrepreneurs focused on developing technology, therapeutics, and other solutions to address maternal and infant health challenges in New Jersey. The grant will engage early-stage innovation-based companies in New Jersey to accelerate the R&D of technologies to transform new discoveries from the research stage into commercially viable products and services that impact maternal and infant health.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Direct Financial Assistance Program:
The SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program aims to enhance the innovation economy in New Jersey through financial support to New Jersey small businesses seeking to participate in, or currently participating in, the federal SBIR/STTR program. The program has three objectives: 1) to increase the success rate of New Jersey grant applications seeking federal funding for SBIR/STTR programs, 2) to reduce the financial burden for small New Jersey companies that have won Phase I, Fast Track, or Direct to Phase II awards/contracts through federal SBIR/ STTR programs and 3) increase success and maximize the growth of small New Jersey companies in moving from Phase I to Phase II of the SBIR/ STTR federal programs. Companies that have received a federal Phase I award are eligible for $25,000 while companies that have completed their Phase I project and applied for Phase II can apply for $50,000.
The New Jersey Small Business Development Center (NJSBDC) Network received the Federal and State Technology (FAST) grant that will be used to support specialized training, mentoring, and technical assistance for R&D-focused small businesses. Funded by the federal government’s SBIR and STTR programs, the FAST helps increase the number of SBIR/STTR proposals. For more information contact [email protected].
ResearchwithNJ.com helps businesses and entrepreneurs identify and collaborate with top New Jersey universities and experts. The free database has information on thousands of experts in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as well as their professional backgrounds, publications, and achievements. The site also highlights research departments and specializations along with details on core lab facilities. Access ResearchWithNJ at www.researchwithnj.com
New Jersey Equity in Commercialization Collective:
The New Jersey Equity in Commercialization Collective (NJECC) is a National Science Foundation ADVANCE partnership program that was created to address the significant equity issues in academic technology commercialization and eliminate systemic barriers at all levels. NJECC aims to increase the diversity of STEM faculty researchers who participate in New Jersey’s entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem. NJECC partners with universities and organizations throughout New Jersey, including CSIT, as part of this systemic change initiative. www.njeccadvance.com