Rutgers EcoComplex: Building the Bioenergy Industry of New Jersey

EcoComplex Exterior.

Rutgers EcoComplex, a Clean Energy Innovation Center, is located in Bordentown, NJ.

The Rutgers EcoComplex is a nationally recognized center for sustainable biomass energy business incubation and clean energy cluster development. Designated a Clean Energy Innovation Center, it focuses on innovative bioenergy processes and was one of the first in the nation to serve as a university-based clean energy business incubator. It was recognized by the State of New Jersey with the “Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award” for setting a benchmark for top performance for the clean energy sector.

In keeping with the mission of NJAES, the EcoComplex takes a multi-pronged approach to building a sustainable bioenergy industry through applied research and demonstration, outreach and education, and business development. This facility proves that it “walks-the-talk” when it comes to bioenergy by conducting demonstration projects and helping start-up businesses further develop their technologies. Through these demonstrations, improvements can be made and the technologies verified to optimize their technical and economic performance. By offering these services and resources to entrepreneurs, the center helps to reduce barriers in the commercialization process.

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Food Commercialization Center planned in Bridgeton

The Cumberland County Improvement Authority on Friday announced plans to bring a $9-million, 27,000-square-foot Food Commercialization Center to Bridgeton in the fourth quarter of 2017… The CCIA also plans to work closely with the Rutgers Food Innovation Center – located at 450 E. Broad St. in Bridgeton – on the project. Lou Cooperhouse, director of the Rutgers Food Innovation Center, offered a positive outlook for the new facility. "A number of our clients and our graduates at the Food Innovation Center routinely require between 2,000 to 3,000 square feet of space to meet their growing commercialization needs," he said."In addition, we have a number of domestic and international companies we work with that are looking immediately for this amount of space as they launch their business to serve the U.S."

Read the entire article at The Daily Journal »

New Jersey Employers Learn How to Train Their Employees for Free at the Rutgers Workforce Development Training Showcase

OCPE Workforce Training attendees.

OCPE Workforce Training attendees.

Rutgers 4th Annual Training Showcase, which helps state businesses connect to millions of dollars available in state grant funds for employee training, will be held on July 21 on the New Brunswick campus. Hosted by the Rutgers Workforce Development Unit (WDU), part of NJAES Office of Continuing Professional Education, this free event provides prospective New Jersey employers the opportunity to preview “mini” training courses, so they can get a feel for which courses will be appropriate for their employees, and guides them through the grant application process.

Corporate training funds are often limited but the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development is committed to retaining highly skilled and high-wage jobs in New Jersey, providing training grants for many of these courses. The Rutgers WDU staff is familiar with the entire grant-funded training system and helps to guide participating employers through the various steps, from determining eligibility and completing an application to developing a training schedule and creating customized courses and certificate programs. Since its first training showcase in 2013, Rutgers WDU has assisted hundreds of organizations in securing $15 million dollars in grant funding to improve the skills of their employees

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The Road to Financial Wellness Starts at Rutgers

Jason Vitug ('07 RBS) founder of Phroogal with Barbara O'Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension specialist in financial resource management.

Jason Vitug (RBS’07) founder of Phroogal with Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension specialist in financial resource management.

The Road to Financial Wellness 2.0 kicked off with a campus pit stop held at IFNH on Thursday June 2nd. Jason Vitug, a 2007 graduate of Rutgers Business School and founder of Phroogal—a social media company providing financial information targeted to millennials—is embarking on his 2nd annual financial education journey across the United States with 50 events in 50 states over 107 days, covering 15,000 miles, to raise awareness of personal finance and to encourage people to make better financial decisions. Vitug will kick off this road trip in his hometown of Elizabeth, NJ, on Tuesday June 7. Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension specialist in financial resource management, invited Vitug and two guest panelists—Pamela Callender, business development and marketing manager at Rutgers Federal Credit Union (RFCU), and Kim Cole, Navicore Solutions and New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education—to speak to the campus audience and provide specific tips to improve a person’s financial wellness.

In addition to the presentations, during his journey Vitug and his Phroogal team will be posting and sharing stories at #TheRoad2016 and encourages everyone to ‘come along for the ride.’

Jason Vitug speaking about his journey to financial wellness.

Jason Vitug speaking about his journey to financial wellness.

The Rutgers seminar began with Vitug talking about his own financial history including the $5,000 credit card debt he graduated with and ‘living paycheck to paycheck, despite a six-figure salary.’  In recounting this, he emphasized the importance of life planning and smart spending. Vitug told the audience to dig deep and ‘envision your dream life style’ so that you have a life plan which your financial plan then supports. Contrary to popular wisdom, he explained that money can make you happy if it fulfills what you need and love, rather than just like and want.  Is that big house part of your real dream or just ‘keeping up with the Joneses?’

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World’s richest source of oceanographic data now operational at Rutgers

The National Science Foundation awarded $11.8 million to Rutgers to launch and operate the Ocean Observatories Initiative’s data system. The data center for the pioneering Ocean Observatories Initiative, which collects and shares data from more than 800 sophisticated instruments and a transmission network across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, is now operating at Rutgers University… "Rutgers is now the hub for the world’s richest source of new in-water oceanographic data, and we are extremely proud to have been chosen for this important work," says Christopher J. Molloy, Rutgers’ senior vice president for research and economic development.

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Starting a food business? Rutgers incubator can help

Patrick Leger stood in a processing room at Rutgers Food Innovation Center on Friday, watching as an assembly line of bottles were filled with pure strained tomatoes, First Field’s latest product… "They need a place to go," said Lou Cooperhouse, the center’s director. "Our job is to find a pathway for them to go after they leave our facility."

Read the entire article at Press of Atlantic City »

Student-run Biotech Start-up Earned a $500,000 Commitment from Foundation Venture Capital Group

Seated, from left, Prof. James Simon and Michael Johnson. Standing, from left, Nick Crider and Tom Villani. Photo by Peter Byron

Seated, from left, Prof. James Simon and Michael Johnson. Standing, from left, Nick Crider and Tom Villani. Photo by Peter Byron

Visikol Inc., a student-run biotech startup from Rutgers, has gained a commitment of up to $500,000 in funding towards commercialization of its technology from Foundation Venture Capital, LLC. Named after its product Visikol, a biological clearing agent used in scientific and medical research, the company was founded by two current Rutgers doctoral students, CEO Michael Johnson and chief science officer Tom Villani, along with co-inventors James Simon, distinguished professor in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology , and Adolfina Koroch, a visiting scientist at Rutgers. The company has also recently been approved for space in the Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies, an incubator operated by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Read more from the Office of Research and Economic Development.

Climate change is taking from the poor and giving to the rich

The rich are getting richer and poor are getting poorer. It’s the kind of populist refrain that’s become common on the campaign trail during U.S. primary season, but this time, it’s coming out of the mouths of climate scientists… "What we find is that natural resources like fish are being pushed around by climate change, and that changes who gets access to them," Malin Pinsky, professor of ecology and evolution at Rutgers, said in a press release.

Read the entire article at UPI »

China hates GMOs. Problem is, China really needs GMOs

China has a fifth of the world’s people, but only about 7 percent of its arable land. Food security is a national obsession – so it only seemed natural when, earlier this month, state-owned ChemChina announced its bid to buy the pesticide- and seed-producing giant Syngenta, in what is likely to be the biggest acquisition in the country’s history. Technology, the Party seemed to say, and especially genetically modified crops, are the key to a sustainable future. "There was a widespread public fear that, ‘Oh, maybe they’re trying to sneak this through too!’" says Carl Pray, an economist at Rutgers who has researched Chinese attitudes toward GMOs.

Read the entire article at Wired »

2015 NJAES Annual Report Available for New Jersey Stakeholders

NJAES 2015 Annual Report coverThe 2015 NJAES Annual Report, produced by the Office of the Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources Robert Goodman, was unveiled on Feb. 11 at the final day of the New Jersey Agricultural Convention in Atlantic City.

The report highlights the research and extension activities of the experiment station under the six broad categories of commercial agriculture; environment and natural resources; fisheries and aquaculture; food, nutrition and health; home, lawn and garden; and youth and community development. In addition, the key areas of economic development and fundraising support round out a comprehensive look at the impact of NJAES on the lives of NJ residents, communities, and businesses. For your copy, contact the SEBS & NJAES Office of CommunicationsView the interactive 2015 NJAES Annual Report.