Industry News and Notes – January 2012

Trenton Report

Governor Chris Christie Takes Action to Create Jersey Jobs and Grow Economy with $200 Million GrowNJ Incentive Program

TRENTON — Acting on an agenda to create jobs for New Jerseyans and spur economic development in areas across the state, Governor Chris Christie on January 6 signed S-3033, legislation creating the GrowNJ Assistance program to provide at least $200 million in incentives to create and retain Jersey jobs. The GrowNJ program will encourage business investment and expansion in New Jersey by providing tax credits to companies moving to or growing in the state based on capital investment and job creation or retention.

“Through the creation of GrowNJ, we are ensuring that critical economic development projects are moving forward and that businesses are staying, growing, and creating jobs for New Jerseyans,” said Governor Christie. “Expanding the reach of these job-creating incentives will put people to work now in construction jobs and create long-term, permanent jobs for our families. This bipartisan bill puts into action an initiative of my Administration that recognizes and builds on the success of the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit, while increasing the competitiveness of New Jersey as a business-friendly environment for job growth.”

The GrowNJ program, a Christie Administration initiative, duplicates and expands the success of existing incentive programs while embracing innovative ideas to spur job growth and economic expansion. The program provides areas of New Jersey not currently eligible for the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit (UTHTC) with a comparable business incentive program, allowing them to compete for new development, the retention of jobs. and reinvestment. Since the GrowNJ’s tax credit allocation of $200 million falls under the $1.5 billion total tax credit cap already provided for in the UTHTC Act, the program will not result in any new costs to the State.

Under GrowNJ, an eligible business will receive an annual tax credit of $5,000 – $8,000 for 10 years for each full-time job created or retained.

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New Jersey Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program Allocation Letters Issued

TRENTON — Allocation letters were mailed by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority on December 21, 2011, to companies that qualified for the New Jersey Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program.

BioNJ President Debbie Hart noted that, “This is such an important source of badly needed capital for the industry, especially in this difficult funding environment. We commend the Governor and the Legislature for allocating $60 million to this program after a cut to $30 million in the previous budget cycle.”

According to Andy Drechsler, CFO of VaxInnate, “This letter is very important to us at VaxInnate. We are very appreciative of the program and look forward to investing the money back into the New Jersey economy in the form of payroll for our scientists and other local research collaborations.”

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EDA Strengthens Lending Programs, Forms New Partnerships to Support Small Business

TRENTON — In support of the Christie Administration’s commitment to economic growth and entrepreneurial development, the Board of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) on December 13 took action on four items to further support small business development and encourage job creation in the State. This included doubling the EDA’s line of credit guarantee assistance from $250,000 to $500,000; increasing the number of banks from 15 to 44 that can participate in a new Premier Lenders banking program to expedite loan approvals; and awarding contracts to two firms to provide greater access to technical assistance for small, women-, and minority-owned businesses in New Jersey.

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Washington Report

BIO Announces Fritz Bittenbender as the New Vice President, Alliance Development and State Government Relations

WASHINGTON, DC — The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) announced on December 17 that Fritz Bittenbender has been hired to serve as Vice President, Alliance Development and State Government Relations. Bittenbender brings extensive experience in government affairs and alliance development, most recently serving as Vice President of Public Affairs at Cephalon and as President of the CephalonCares Foundation.

Bittenbender will spearhead BIO’s engagement in and support of state-level legislative and regulatory issues while promoting the responsible development of the bioscience industry and better understanding of policy issues critical to the industry. He also will lead BIO’s engagement with stakeholder organizations, including patient and disease advocacy groups.

Previously, Bittenbender held cabinet-level positions in the offices of Pennsylvania Governors Tom Ridge and Mark Schweiker. Additionally, Bittenbender served as president of Pennsylvania Bio, an affiliated organization to BIO.

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News from Our Colleges and Universities

Dr. Joel Bloom Named President of NJIT

NEWARK — The Board of Trustees of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) on January 10 announced the appointment of Dr. Joel Bloom as President of the University.

An experienced NJIT leader, Dr. Bloom is a highly regarded statewide and national educational professional who is most qualified to serve as its president and has provided exceptional service as interim president following the September 28 resignation announcement of former president Robert A. Altenkirch.

“It is in the best interest of the university to appoint a president at the earliest possible date to provide stability and continuity to the important work of the university; that is, educating New Jersey’s future science and technology leaders, responding to opportunities presented by the Governor for workforce and economic development, building NJIT’s national academic and research reputation, and proceeding with our ongoing significant fund raising initiatives, specifically, the $150 million ‘NJIT NEXT’ campaign,” stated Kathy Wielkopolski of the NJIT Board of Trustees.

Bloom is appointed for an initial term ending June 30, 2014, with compensation to be determined by the Board of Trustees.

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Rutgers University Expands Fellowship Program to Include International Participants

NEW BRUNSWICK — Rutgers has expanded its fellowship program through which selected candidates with advanced degrees assist the University’s Office of Technology Commercialization in researching, evaluating, and marketing the numerous inventions developed by Rutgers researchers.

Helena Montiel, PhD, currently the Director of the Office of Investigation and Technology Transfer at the University of Girona (Spain), is the Rutgers program’s first international fellow. Her focus is comparing technology-management systems in the United States and Spain.

“We are thrilled to expand our current program and see it as a way to establish better connections between Rutgers and other universities throughout the world,” said Dipanjan Nag, Executive Director of Technology Commercialization. “Our office is a great training environment for fellows looking to learn new experiences. They have the opportunity to work with real intellectual property and help find suitable commercialization partners for that IP. Since we are a small department, their work is varied and meaningful.”

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Rutgers One of Four Founding Member Corporations and Universities to Sponsor Unit License Rights Contracts

CHICAGO — The Intellectual Property Exchange International, Inc., and related entities (IPXI) on December 13 announced commitments from initial Founding Member corporations and universities, including Rutgers University, to sponsor Unit License Rights™ (ULR) Contracts.

ULR Contracts are the initial product to be offered on the Exchange. ULR Contracts transform private licensing of technology into tradable products, allowing for improved market transparency, streamlined technology transfer, and increased efficiency.

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UMDNJ Office of Technology Transfer Newsletter Now Available

NEWARK — The latest edition of Technology Transfer, the quarterly newsletter from the UMDNJ Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development is now available.

Articles include a review of efforts to develop a treatment for Batten disease, a rare, fatal autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder that begins in childhood.

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