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Tech sector key to state's 'master plan,' Noveck says

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New Jersey Chief Innovation Officer Beth Noveck speaks at the New Jersey Tech Council CIO Conference at ON3 biotechnology campus in Nutley.
New Jersey Chief Innovation Officer Beth Noveck speaks at the New Jersey Tech Council CIO Conference at ON3 biotechnology campus in Nutley. - ()

Days after the Murphy administration laid out an economic “master plan” for New Jersey, Beth Noveck, the state's first chief innovation officer, made the case for the importance of private sector tech industry participation in implementing the plan.

Speaking on Wednesday at the New Jersey Tech Council's CIO Conference at the ON3 biotechnology campus in Nutley, Noveck told industry executives from such companies as Johnson & Johnson, Comcast Corp., iCIMS Inc. and BakerHostetler that the plan cannot be accomplished solely through the work of government.

“As business leaders and innovators and nonprofit leaders and academics, each of you, I hope, will have an important role to play and see yourself in,” Noveck said. “We can’t do it from the top down. It’s something that we have to do together.”

To highlight the plan’s emphasis on technology, Gov. Phil Murphy earlier in the day announced the Computer Science for All program, which will bring more technology- and programming-focused courses to K-12 schools across the state. The program was allocated $2 million in the 2019 budget.

“In the 21st-century economy, we must prepare our students with the critical thinking and problem-solving skills they need to think about the world in new and creative ways,” Murphy said in a prepared statement. “Computer Science for All is a game-changer, giving our children the tools they need to learn coding and tackle complex problems in an increasingly technologically connected world.”  

Murphy said his goal is that by 2025 New Jersey will have added 300,000 new jobs, achieved a 4 percent wage growth or an increase of $1,500 in median wages, 40,000 more women and minorities working in STEM fields, $645 million in new venture capital investment and the employment of 42,000 more women and minorities.

More broadly, Murphy’s economic outline includes investment in people and communities, building the innovation economy and making government work better for small businesses by streamlining much of the permitting and application processes and bureaucracies online.

“As our office begins to roll out new kinds of tech-enabled engagement processes, we will actually be counting on you to share your expertise, your experience and your insights,” Noveck said Wednesday.

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Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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