Peter J. McDonough is the senior vice president for external affairs at Rutgers.


Peter J. McDonough is the senior vice president for external affairs at Rutgers.

Benoit Cortet

Governor Phil Murphy recentlyunveiled a new economic master plan for New Jersey that he says will make the Garden State “stronger and fairer” and, among other things, will help create 300,000 jobs by 2025, double the amount of venture capital that flows into the state, and eliminate wage disparities. 

The governor’s plan relies on a mix of tried-and-true approaches and rolls out some new ones like the sale of tax credits to fund start-ups and other measures specifically targeted at innovators. It also banks on leveraging the intellectual capacity of the state in a powerful academic partnership with policymakers.

Murphy specifically cited Rutgers as the state’s key partner in this effort.“We must also support existing partnerships,” he said, pointing out, for example, that Rutgers University–New Brunswick is receiving $1 billion in funding from RWJBarnabas Health, the university’s new health care partner, to support the burgeoning relationship. “We must be part of an all-out effort to ensure their advances get out into the marketplace, where new companies and consumers are waiting,” the governor went on, citing the fact that the partnership will build on approximately $700 million in research and development expenditures by Rutgers, placing it among the top 20 public institutions in the nation.

New Jersey’s economy went from the nation’s laggard in the early 1990s to its powerhouse in creating 439,000 jobs by the end of the decade. Unfortunately, in many of the years that followed, the state, its businesses, and its workers have not performed as well and have fallen behind the rest of the nation.Governor Murphy wants New Jersey to reach its potential and invest in innovation. He has asked Rutgers to be his partner, and we are ready for the challenge.