NEWARK, NJ, July 25, 2019 – Earlier today U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that 44 organizations — including nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and entrepreneurship-focused organizations — from 28 states and two territories will receive grants totaling $23 million to create and expand high-growth entrepreneurship and increase access to capital for communities across America. The $750,00 EDA grant includes a $933,673 local match for a $1.6 million total.
New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), an NJIT Corporation, The Atlantic County Economic Alliance and the National Institute of Aerospace, together with Atlantic County, Cape May County, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the National Aviation Research and Technology Park (NARTP) have created the Smart Airport and Aviation Partnership (SAAP) in southern New Jersey. The SAAP will transform the region’s innovation ecosystem by incubating, accelerating, and attracting new businesses into a cluster that is ideally matched to the region’s strengths and capabilities.
The proposed region is a four-county EDA-certified South Jersey Economic Development District that includes the Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center, which has over 4,500 federal and contractor employees and is the FAA’s primary research and technology development center, including a new initiative on smart airport and aviation technologies. The adjoining Atlantic City International Airport was recently designated as a Smart Airport Research Test-Bed Facility. The nearby Cape May County Airport is an FAA-approved drone test flight facility. Both sites are ideal for start-up and existing companies to test smart airport technologies in a relevant environment for eventual certification and commercialization. The resources from this grant will be leveraged by the SAAP to ultimately generate $10-20 million in investment and 25-50 jobs by five years after the grant period.
Ian Trammell, associate vice president, office of economic, cluster, & client development, stated, “NJII is delighted to play an important role in the innovative advancement of the Atlantic County region and in the management of the NARTP. The EDA Innovation Strategies Program-i6 award represents a tangible commitment to the viability and economic success of the region.”