University Economic Development Association


New Jersey Innovation Institute

Award Category: Innovation
Project Site: New Jersey Innovation Institute
Submitted By: New Jersey Innovation Institute
Contact: Judith Sheft , 973.596.5825


In 2014, the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) was formed as an NJIT corporation to act as the organizational centerpiece of the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s (NJIT) economic and technology development mission.  NJII’s unique design and program scaffold serves as an agile, market-facing interface designed to transform intellectual capital into commercial success. Whether it’s working to solve the grand challenges shared across an entire sector or helping a single company find an innovative way to pursue a new product or market opportunity, NJII brings world-class intellectual and technological resources to bear.

NJII catalyzes industry, government, and university partnerships across New Jersey institutions and geographies. NJII’s organizational strategy hosts Innovation Labs (iLabs) to serve market verticals and Core Labs to provide cross-cutting capabilities serving all sectors.  This approach includes other universities joining with NJII to address challenges using both team science and “solutions” perspectives. NJII engages industry from concept to market and brings strong capabilities to accelerate cluster and ecosystem development.

NJII i-Labs overlay industrial sectors: health care systems, biotechnology and pharmaceutical production, defense and homeland security, civil infrastructure, and financial services. NJII coreLab capabilities include: data analytics, economic and cluster development, and technology and enterprise development.  The latter core Lab operates the Enterprise Development Center (EDC), which is the largest technology and life science incubator in the state of New Jersey.

Since its inception, NJII’s annual expenditures doubled to $60M per year while decreasing its need for institutional funds, which account for less than 5% of that annual total.

Finalist Presentation

UEDA Awards of Excellence Finalists presented at the Annual Summit in Long Beach on October 2-3, 2017. Summit attendees then voted for the best initiative in each category.