NJ: Governor Murphy Announces Planned Aerospace Innovation Center in Atlantic County | Trade and Industry Development

NJ: Governor Murphy Announces Planned Aerospace Innovation Center in Atlantic County

Jun 13, 2024
The Aerospace Innovation Center will be the fifth Strategic Innovation Center in the state, and will support state-of-the-art aerospace research and innovation.

Governor Phil Murphy announced that the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) and the Atlantic County Improvement Authority (ACIA) have launched the Aerospace Innovation Center (AIC), a Strategic Innovation Center (SIC) located in Atlantic County that will focus on the aerospace industry. This will be the fifth SIC in New Jersey and the first with a focus on aerospace innovation. 

Located in the National Aerospace Research & Technology Park (NARTP) in Egg Harbor Township, the AIC will provide state-of-the-art aerospace research spaces, high-speed connectivity to the FAA William J. Hughes Center for Advanced Aerospace data systems and laboratories, and co-working and studio spaces that are ideal for collaboration and innovation. The AIC will be the second of seven planned buildings within the aerospace innovation hub. Building One first opened in June 2019 and achieved full occupancy in January 2020.

“Since taking office, it has been my goal to ensure New Jersey is at the forefront of innovation and technology development, including aerospace engineering,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “As the state’s fifth Strategic Innovation Center, the Aerospace Innovation Center will give budding students and entrepreneurs access to state-of-the-art equipment and opportunities to collaborate with experts in the field. This exciting venture solidifies New Jersey as the place to be when it comes to innovation and research.”

The NJEDA and ACIA have signed a non-binding letter of intent to form a two-member limited liability company which will plan, develop, construct, and manage the innovation hub. ACIA, in partnership with the NARTP and Atlantic County Economic Alliance (ACEA), will contribute $10.5 million dollars in funding to construct the innovation center, while the NJEDA will invest $8 million. Construction for the innovation center is underway and is expected to be completed in October 2025. The Center is expected to be fully operational in January 2026. ACIA is managing the construction of the facility and NARTP will manage the AIC’s operations.

“Governor Murphy is committed to growing New Jersey’s innovation economy by investing in diverse industries and providing entrepreneurs with access to the resources needed to grow and scale their business,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Powered by NJEDA’s Strategic Innovation Center program, and paired with Atlantic County’s deeps roots in aerospace, the Aerospace Innovation Center will drive the creation of new technologies that in turn will create jobs and support long-term, sustainable economic growth across the state.”

The AIC intends to partner with New Jersey institutions of higher education, including Stockton University, Rowan University, and Rutgers School of Engineering. The AIC also intends to partner with world-class aeronautical institutions such as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the National Institute of Aerospace, offering aerospace students hands-on experiences to train within their field.

NARTP Building One, which opened officially in June 2020 and is fully occupied, has several notable tenants, including General Dynamics Info Tech., Woolpert Engineering, Signature Scientific, and an FAA remote lab. Several companies have also signed letters of interest in locating in the AIC.

“I want to applaud Governor Murphy, NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan, and all the members of their staff in the Governor’s office and at the Economic Development Authority for the launch of this Strategic Innovation Center right here in Atlantic County,” said Senator Vince Polistina (LD-2). “For years, we have talked about the need to diversify our economy in Atlantic County and this initiative finally brings about opportunities in aerospace and aviation which are needed. I’m excited to continue to work with the administration on these initiatives and I look forward to the increased collaboration and the new jobs immediately being created here, in Atlantic County, following the completion of this agreement.”

“ACIA looks forward to partnering with NARTP, ACEA, and NJEDA on establishing an Aerospace Innovation Center,” said Timothy Edmunds, Executive Director of the Atlantic County Improvement Authority. “We thank County Executive Dennis Levinson since without his vision and financial support the research park would not have happened. We are also grateful to Governor Murphy and our state legislative team for their efforts in making the AIC a reality.”

“The launch of the Aerospace Innovation Center marks a transformative moment for Atlantic County and the aerospace industry at large," said Mark Loeben, Chairman of the National Aerospace Research and Technology Park (NARTP). "We are thrilled to see this vision come to life, offering unparalleled opportunities for research, collaboration, and innovation in aerospace technology, while driving economic growth. We extend our deepest gratitude to Governor Phil Murphy and NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan for their vision and continued support to make this project a reality in Atlantic County, further solidifying New Jersey’s position as a national destination for aerospace innovation.”

“We are at the dawn of a new era in aerospace innovation and technology," said Michael Viscount, Chairman of the Atlantic County Economic Alliance (ACEA). "The Aerospace Innovation Center is set to become a beacon for pioneering aerospace advancements and will play a crucial role in shaping the future of this industry. We thank Senator Vince Polistina for his hard work, dedication, and advocacy in the Legislature to acquire the funding needed to ensure that we remain at the forefront of technological breakthroughs. The ACEA also recognizes the support of Governor Phil Murphy and NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. It is only through their shared vision of a diversified Atlantic County economy that we can make monumental strides in hosting a game-changing program like the Aerospace Innovation Center. I am honored to be a part of this extraordinary journey.”

SICs are facilities that support research and development, innovation, and entrepreneurship through mentorship, networking opportunities, hands-on training, business support services, and education opportunities. SICs can be accelerators, incubators, or research centers. Having a physical location where entrepreneurs can collaborate will help support new, diverse innovators and help drive long-term economic growth.

“The Aerospace Innovation Center will create new and exciting opportunities for students and entrepreneurs in Atlantic County and across South Jersey,” said NJEDA Chief Transformation Officer Kathleen Coviello. “The AIC's unique proximity to the Atlantic City International Airport and other aerospace industry leaders will unlock opportunities for innovators to pursue their research, testing, and development of aerospace technologies.”

In May, Governor Murphy attended the ribbon cutting for HAX, LLC in Newark and announced the launch of NJ FAST in Hoboken, the newest SICs in New Jersey. 

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