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This article was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on August 11, 1999. All rights reserved.
Research Awards from NJCST
High tech companies typically bleed money at such a
high rate that small government grants don’t help much. But help in
getting equipment, if offered at the right time, can keep a research
Several Princeton research and development companies will benefit
from R&D Excellence awards just made by the New Jersey Commission
on Science and Technology (NJCST). The commission received 29 short
proposals and invited nine full proposals before choosing six winners.
Of these six, totaling $1.83 million, three will directly affect
"We want to bring state of the art equipment to the academic
in New Jersey," says John V. Tesoriero, executive director
of the commission. The program aims to seed the development of
technology areas in which New Jersey can become a world leader. For
information on how to qualify for grants from the NJCST, either R&D
Excellence awards or Technology Transfer awards — call
or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
For one of the R&D Excellence grants, investigators from the
department of the Robert Wood Johnson University of Medicine and
are working with scientists from Integra LifeSciences Inc. and Therics
Inc. Their project, the Program for Engineered Cellular Response,
is getting $250,000 to do proof-of-concept studies.
"We funded part of the program to encourage research in dentistry
and liked the fact that it was an academic and industry collaboration
for dental prosthetics," says Tesoriero. These studies will focus
on what he calls "cost-effective treatment alternatives to restore
form and function by replacing tissue lost to aging, trauma, and
as well as creating form and function in developmental defects."
Neither company had announced it was doing orthodontics research,
but both are unusually capable of contributing to this field. Therics
uses three-dimensional printing technology, licensed from MIT, for
innovative pharmaceuticals and tissue engineering
Therics started out at Trenton Business and Technology Center (U.S.
1, August 14, 1996) and now has 42 employees on Campus Drive, where
it maintains a pilot plant and research and engineering offices. Last
April Tredegar Corporation, a Virginia-based holding company, bought
out the other investors, so that Therics is now a subsidiary of
Integra LifeSciences has nearly 175 employees on Morgan Lane; it
on NASDAQ as IART (http://www.integra-ls.com. Founded in
1989, the firm develops and manufactures BioSmart absorbable
products that aim to control the behavior of cells within a patient’s
body to regenerate. Integra’s Artificial Skin is the first in a series
of products being developed to regenerate body tissues (such as
cartilage and peripheral nerves) that usually do not regenerate
Gene research is another focus of NJCST for its R&D Excellence Grants.
Companies working in the genomics area tap into an Affymetrix Gene
Chip system to speed up gene screening by a factor of 10 to 100. The
Center for Applied Genomics at the University Science Park in Newark
will receive $300,000 to help pay for an Affymetrix system, to be
shared by NJIT, Public Health Research Institute, and the UMDNJ New
Jersey Medical School. Call David S. Perlin at 973-972-1295
Also $50,000 will go to a Rutgers facility in New Brunswick for a
similar gene screening system to be used by such organizations as
the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the Center for Biotechnology and
Medicine, the Child Health Institute, and the Howard Hughes Institute.
"We hope supporting these devices will jump start New Jersey’s
effort," says Tesoriero. "The R&D Excellence program gives
us the flexibility to identify and encourage the most promising
Other R&D Excellence awards included the following:
from Rutgers will receive $110,000 for two years to test crush
and strength for new doubly periodic folded (DPF) configurations.
between Princeton and Rutgers universities and the New Jersey
of Technology will receive $500,000 the first year and lesser amounts
for the next four years.
gets $500,000 for five years. Stevens, Rutgers, NJIT, and Lucent are
awards $177,000 for five years to Rutgers, Biosphere Inc., Atlantic
Capes Fisheries, and the Haskins Shellfish Research Laboratory to
help breed oysters and clams.
A different NJCST award program, this one for monies that go directly
to an individual company, is for technology transfer — projects
with a good chance of commercial success. Applications will be taken
through early October for the next quarterly round of Technology
funding, for amounts from $50,000 to $250,000. Projects that qualify
can be completed in 12 months or less, and projects with other outside
investors take priority.
Eligible companies will have fewer than 500 employees and be located
in New Jersey or be willing to move to New Jersey. They are supposed
to stay in New Jersey for at least five years after the funding ends.
They should be conducting product or process development in a market
area that is likely to succeed by stimulating economic growth and
Unlike the R&D Excellence grants, Technology Transfer funds are not
gifts. Recipients must match state dollars, and — if their
are successful — they must pay royalties to the state. But the
funds do not represent venture capital, so recipients do not give
up any equity. Nor do the recipients go into debt, because the monies
are not an actual loan. No interest is levied, and the money does
not have to be paid back if the technology is not successful.
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