FACILITIES AND SPACES
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), the state’s principal agency for driving economic growth, offers numerous resources to support emerging companies choosing to grow in the Garden State. As part of Governor Phil Murphy’s economic development strategy to reclaim New Jersey’s role as a leader in innovation, the NJEDA has prioritized connecting technology and life sciences startups with access to affordable lab and office space.
New Jersey is home to over five dozen collaborative workspaces — incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces. Research has shown that startups nurtured in collaborative workspaces are more likely to succeed than unassisted enterprises.
Situated in the heart of the state’s research corridor between Rutgers and Princeton universities, the NJEDA’s New Jersey Bioscience Center research park in North Brunswick offers three different options – incubator, step-out, and stand-alone space, allowing companies to grow all on one campus. This means a company can go from a solo 900-square-foot incubator lab to a 60,000-square-foot facility. Additionally, the availability of pad sites allows for custom-built, stand-alone facilities.
The New Jersey Bioscience Center – Incubator offers 27 wet labs, the most of any life sciences incubator in New Jersey, as well as educational programs, help identifying funding sources, and access to small business development resources, networking opportunities, and administrative support. The New Jersey Bioscience Center – Step Out Labs offers post incubation intermediate lab and office space for expanding biopharma companies.
“We’ve been fortunate to experience exponential growth and attribute it, in large part, to New Jersey’s pharmaceutical infrastructure and its culture of innovation. The state-of-the-art equipment at the Step-Out Labs, combined with the proximity to top universities, puts us at a great advantage as we seek to advance our products.” — Lars Birgerson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Adlai Nortye USA and tenant at the NJ Bioscience Center Step-Out Labs.
The NJEDA is also supporting the development of the New Jersey Health + Life Sciences Exchange (HELIX) in New Brunswick, an innovation district providing industries and universities the critical ecosystem to research, learn, work, and collaborate. It will bring together public, private, and academic sectors to create a world-class hub of innovation and a strong base of support and talent pipeline for innovative companies. Coming online in 2025, this state-of-the-art facility will include institutions like Rutgers and Princeton universities, and RWJ Barnabas & Hackensack Meridian Health. The HELIX, which will also house the Rutgers University medical school and an Innovation Hub for startups, will be a unique place where discoveries can go from ideation to bedside.
To support the youngest members of the state’s innovation ecosystem, the NJEDA offers two financial support programs that help emerging companies move to collaborative workspaces.
NJ Ignite offers up to nine months of rent support – up to a total of $25,000 – for technology and life sciences companies as they begin to use approved collaborative workspaces. The spaces are independently managed and offer spaces such as private offices, labs, and hot desks – all to meet the needs of each unique company. The shared spaces also host events to support individual companies’ growth and to bolster the state’s innovation ecosystem.
NJ Accelerate incentivizes graduates from approved accelerators to consider locating in New Jersey, as well as to showcase the talent in the state’s accelerators on a national stage. Specifically, the NJEDA matches investment provided by approved accelerators with up to $250,000 in direct convertible loans for startups that locate in New Jersey within six months after graduating from approved programs, with bonuses for companies that are certified as women- or minority-owned. The NJEDA also provides rent support for up to six months to companies locating in NJ Ignite collaborative workspace.
Continuing his commitment to grow innovation industry specific facilities, Governor Murphy announced in 2021 that the NJEDA and Princeton based venture capital firm SOSV would form HAX LLC to bring SOSV’s acclaimed HAX hard tech startup development program to Newark and that SOSV would establish the HAX program’s U.S. headquarters at the Newark site. The accelerator subsequently leased 35,000 square feet at 707 Broad Street in downtown Newark. Companies accepted into this leading accelerator will be in new state-of-the-art space that will include labs and dry bench work and will bring together a community focused on reducing carbon emissions.