Programs Connect NJ Startups with Amenities at NJ Universities & Federal Laboratories
The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT) announced plans to open applications for the newly-created Catalyst Research & Development (R&D) Voucher Pilot Program and Round 2 of the state’s Clean Tech R&D Voucher Program. The programs are designed to connect early-stage New Jersey technology companies with access to laboratory facilities and specialized equipment statewide. CSIT expects to open applications for both programs on May 2, 2022 at http://www.njeda.com/csit. The programs were developed in partnership with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU).
Both the Catalyst R&D and Clean Tech R&D Voucher programs will help the state’s startups accelerate development and transform new discoveries from research stage to commercially viable products and services. Eligible applicants can receive vouchers to defray the costs associated with the use of equipment and technicians for testing and development, and for training in preparation for independent use of the equipment from participating university facilities or government or non-profit labs.
“New Jersey’s universities and colleges are uniquely positioned to assist and support entrepreneurs that are developing innovative technologies,” said CSIT Executive Director Judith Sheft. “By harnessing the resources of these world-class higher education institutions and other facilities statewide, the programs announced today will help accelerate the growth of New Jersey startups and strengthen our innovation ecosystem as we continue to reclaim our status as a leader in innovation.”
CSIT will host an informational webinar on the programs on April 19 at 10:00 a.m. to offer tips and advice to potential applicants. Registration information can be found at http://tinyurl.com/CSIT-May2022. A recorded version of the webinar and copy of materials presented will be made available on the CSIT webpage following the event. Applications will be accepted beginning May 2 on a rolling basis until funding from both programs is allocated.
“New Jersey entrepreneurs are creating truly extraordinary things and developing technologies that will have a lasting impact,” said CSIT Acting Chair Debbie Hart. “The programs announced today will enable some of the best minds to leverage state resources as they continue to make their mark on their communities and the innovation ecosystem as a whole.”
Through the $275,000 in total funds provided by the Catalyst R&D Voucher Program, eligible applicants can apply for vouchers to defray the cost associated with eligible services or activities. The vouchers can also be used to hire technicians for testing and development as well as the use of participating facilities. A startup can apply for multiple vouchers, capped at $25,000, within any 12-month period. An approved voucher will be valid for a period of twelve months, starting from the date of the voucher reservation approval letter.
The following technology areas are eligible under the program: advanced manufacturing, advanced transportation and logistics, film and digital media, life sciences (therapeutic drug development and other), non-retail food and beverage, professional and financial services, and technology. Complete eligibility criteria and usage of funds can be found at https://www.njeda.com/catalyst-voucher/.
The Catalyst R&D Voucher Program is a complement to CSIT’s Catalyst R&D Seed Grant Program, which saw a high level of interest from New Jersey’s startup community. That program provided seed funding to approved applicants developing technologies in all industry sectors except clean tech (which has a separate dedicated funding pool).
CSIT also announced today that it will provide vouchers totaling up to $375,000 to eligible startups within the clean technology sector through Round 2 of the Clean Tech R&D Voucher Program. Eligible startups can apply for multiple vouchers up to a cap of $25,000 within any 12-month period. Each approved voucher will be valid for a period of six months, starting from the date of the voucher reservation approval.
The program is open to New Jersey companies with fewer than 25 full-time employees that are 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 in the following target areas: chemicals/advanced materials; energy distribution/storage; energy efficiency; energy generation; green buildings; transportation; waste processing; and water and agriculture. Complete eligibility criteria and usage of funds can be found at https://www.njeda.com/cleantechvoucher/.
Funding for the Clean Tech R&D Voucher Program is provided by NJBPU.
“Our support of these programs will help pave a path for New Jersey to reach Governor Phil Murphy’s important goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050,” said NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “Startups play an essential role in our state’s growth and success and supporting them will push us forward toward a sustainable future.”
In August 2018, Governor Murphy signed legislation re-establishing the former New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology as the CSIT. Comprised of representatives from the public and private sectors, as well as academia, the Commission is tasked with leading the way in promoting the state as a home for academic and technological research, development, and commercialization.