Rutgers University and the Research & Development Council of New Jersey this week brought together federal policy makers, military personal and state, industry and higher education leaders to explore collaboration opportunities to support national security-related activities in the Garden State.
“I was excited to help launch this conversation among government, industry, and academia about how we can better work to support the national security enterprise and advance New Jersey’s innovation ecosystem,” President Jonathan Holloway said.
The New Jersey National Security Innovation Summit was held virtually and gathered representatives across government, education and industry to discuss shared ways to advance technological innovation in the state and helped the University showcase its leadership in innovation, national security and a host of disciplines.
“The National Security Summit format was invaluable for the public officials, industry and members of academia who attended,” said Anthony Cicatiello, president of the R&D Council of New Jersey. “We need to keep people informed and up to date on one another’s research so that opportunities for collaboration are fully leveraged and New Jersey continues to shine in the innovation space. The council was thrilled to be a cohost of this important event.”
U.S. House of Representatives members Donald Norcross (NJ-1), Andy Kim (NJ-3) and Mikie Sherrill(NJ-11) were among the panelists who spoke on key research areas and Department of Defense modernization priorities.
“The conversations make it clear that New Jersey is primed to be a leader at the nexus of national security and technological innovation,” Rep. Kim said. “It is also clear that it won’t happen unless we work together to find common ground and avenues of collaboration. I look forward to continuing to lead that conversation with my colleagues, and with important New Jersey institutions like Rutgers to seize the opportunity to lead, innovate and grow.”
The summit included breakout sessions on advanced manufacturing, communication and cybersecurity.
“I was honored to participate alongside my New Jersey colleagues on the House Armed Service Committee at this event and lead a panel discussion,” said Rep. Norcross. “The panel that I moderated centered on improving coordination and growth opportunities in the defense communications arena and included members from academia, industry and New Jersey’s defense enterprise. Our panel yielded an engaging discussion about opportunities for networking, further investigation and the need to build partnerships to bring more work and research and development jobs and funding to the state.
“I’d like to thank Rutgers President Holloway and the New Jersey Research & Development Council for hosting this event,” Norcross added. “New Jersey has so much to offer to the Department of Defense and our federal government agencies in the way of outstanding academic institutions and world class businesses, and we must take full advantage of the important work we can do to strengthen national security.”
Norcross, Kim and Sherrill all serve on the House Armed Services Committee, while Norcross and Sherrill also serve on the House Education and Labor, and House Science, Space and Technology committees.
“New Jersey is uniquely equipped to be competitive in the defense innovation space,” said Rep. Sherrill. “From our top-notch research universities to our innovative military installations like Picatinny Arsenal, we should be leading the way. I want to thank Rutgers, the R&D Council, and our panelists for pulling this event together. It’s the first step of many towards turning New Jersey into the national security innovation hub of the Northeast.”
Thomas Farris, dean of the Rutgers University School of Engineering, provided closing remarks. The School of Engineering, which is rated among the nation’s top 50 in undergraduate engineering programs by U.S. News & World Report, employs a dynamic program that combines classroom learning, hands-on research, and real-world experience through internships and professional relationships.
“Colleges and universities can make tremendous gains by building strong relationships with industry, small business, and our military installations,” said Holloway. “These relationships can mean better pathways for our students and can lead to new research partnerships that can improve our state’s economy, security and quality of life.
“We have the wireless communications pioneers at WINLAB,” Holloway added. “We have top-notch material scientists and engineers who are revolutionizing manufacturing processes and protective gear for our armed forces. These are incredibly important innovations to our national security enterprise.”
For more information about research partnerships and student engagement opportunities at Rutgers University, visit https://research.rutgers.edu/partner. To learn more about the Research & Development Council of New Jersey, go to www.rdnj.org.