Trenton Receives $100,000 Grant to Stimulate Economic Growth
Different people have different impressions of our state capital. It depends on your perspective. The most common attitude among Trentonians, however, is pride, along with a deep, abiding hunger for self-improvement and success. Creating new jobs and establishing new businesses is at the center of that drive. Now, thanks to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), a $100,000 grant has been made available in order to boost innovation and stimulate economic growth in select New Jersey cities.
Known as the NJEDA Innovation Challenge Grant, its purpose is to increase opportunities for economic growth in select New Jersey cities. Expected results are an increase in the number of small businesses, an influx of top talent and employers, the rise of an entrepreneurial culture and better access to STEM jobs. STEM jobs are those related to science, technology, engineering and math. One of the recipients is Trenton.
The objective of the grant is to commercialize research and innovation. A facility has been proposed, known as the Trenton Production and Knowledge Innovation Campus (TPKIC), that will be host to five institutions of higher learning: Mercer County Community College, Princeton University, Rider University, the College of New Jersey and Thomas Edison State University.
The mission of TPKIC is clear:
- To build a collaborative, research-driven incubator campus for existing businesses, start-ups, local creators, students and faculty at partner colleges and universities, and Trenton Public Schools students and recent graduates.
- To teach people of all skill levels and interests how to turn an idea into reality.
- To help people develop a concept, product or business; and to create something they only dared to dream up while growing their skills and finding their passion.
Some opportunities and resources that will be available at TPKIC include:
- Fun, educational afterschool and summer activities for students K-12.
- Internships, fellowships and apprenticeships for college students.
- Incubation and commercialization resources for researchers, businesses and entrepreneurs.
- Maker-space training and access for all members of the Trenton community.
Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora is confident that many of the spin-off businesses that have been established in Trenton will stay in Trenton.
Possible TKPIC locations include the current Trenton Transit Center and Mercer Community College’s downtown campus. Ground could be broken within the next two to three years. All five colleges will form a consortium that is expected to leave a footprint in Trenton.
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