Beginner's Mind

#119: Kara Moore - Innovating the Future: New Jersey's Bold Leap with NJEDA

November 25, 2023 Christian Soschner Season 4 Episode 51
Beginner's Mind
#119: Kara Moore - Innovating the Future: New Jersey's Bold Leap with NJEDA
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Did you know that New Jersey is rapidly emerging as a powerhouse of innovation, especially in the life sciences and technology sectors?

Join us in this enlightening episode with Kara Moore from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), as she unveils the state's strategic initiatives and opportunities for businesses and investors.

🎙️ What's in the Episode:
1️⃣ Financial Incentives for Growth: Kara discusses New Jersey's unique financial advantages for businesses, including converting net operating losses into non-dilutive capital.
2️⃣ Biomanufacturing and Industry Trends: Learn about New Jersey's focus on staying ahead in biomanufacturing through state-of-the-art facilities and training programs.
3️⃣ Helix Innovation Hub: Discover the significant investment in the Helix Innovation Hub, aimed at propelling health and life sciences R&D.
4️⃣ Diverse Talent Pool: Explore why New Jersey's dense and diverse population makes it an ideal location for companies seeking skilled talent.
5️⃣ Sci Tech City and Digital Health: Uncover the role of Sci Tech City in advancing digital health and A.I., marking New Jersey as a hub for technological growth.


👩‍💼 About Kara Moore:
Kara Moore is a visionary leader at NJEDA, driving New Jersey's growth and positioning it as a key player in the global innovation market. Her focus on collaboration, innovation, and sustainable growth is shaping the state's future in business and technology.

💡 LINKS TO MORE CONTENT
Host: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christiansoschner/
Speaker: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karamoore/

📌 Quotes:
(00:16:33) "It's like having free money. Our unique program allows companies to sell off their New Jersey net operating losses for non-dilutive capital."
(00:25:17) "We're keeping on top of trends, developing programs like our biomanufacturing Pathways, and building facilities like the first simulated clean room in the state."
(00:33:57) "We're building an Innovation Hub in New Brunswick, New Jersey – a $731 million investment in health and life sciences, dubbed Helix."
(00:50:44) "We have about 445,000 life science workers in New Jersey. We're the most den

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00:00:00:08 - 00:00:26:10

Kara Moore

Sure. So my background I have a masters in library science degree that I received in 2005, and I spent many years in academia. I was at Northwestern University for several years, which is in Chicago, Illinois, and then moved over to the northeast at Rutgers University and recently joined the New Jersey Economic Development Authority in about a little over little under two years ago.

 

00:00:26:12 - 00:00:58:06

Kara Moore

And so my background in master's in library information science has really been an asset to me in business research. So my roles at university and at the EDA have enabled me to leverage that skill to research companies, research contacts, find out where initiatives might be good partnerships for for companies and do that matchmaking process. So I'm a heavy consumer of news and I use a lot of RSS feeds.

 

00:00:58:08 - 00:01:15:22

Kara Moore

I was an early Google reader user. If you were a Google reader user as well. But now I use something called News Blur and I have about 100 sites that I track, including things like Bias, Face and Fierce Pharma earnings call reports from our from our public companies in the state.

 

00:01:15:24 - 00:01:18:24

Christian Soschner

And which sites how do you track.

 

00:01:19:01 - 00:01:45:05

Kara Moore

The track of the websites? Yes, through RSS feeds mainly. So I have about those hundred sites that come into a feed reader called newsletter and I have some keywords that I search across for for New Jersey specific news. So that can help us amplify when somebody gets an FDA approval or when someone gets funding or M&A activity, that happens in our state.

 

00:01:45:07 - 00:01:58:04

Kara Moore

We also at the EDA have a resource called Factiva, which is a Dow Jones product, which brings in thousands and thousands of news articles that you can screen across for for business news.

 

00:01:58:06 - 00:02:16:06

Christian Soschner

It's amazing how public relations work changed over the decades. I still remember the nineties when we were reading newspapers cuts this snippets out, put it in a map and handed it over to the decision maker and now we can track everything automatically.

 

00:02:16:08 - 00:02:32:03

Kara Moore

Yes, it is amazing. It is amazing to see how much and how to filter out all that noise too, because there's a lot of noise out there as well. And then how how things like Chatty Betty will Will affect how we how we consume information, too will be interesting to watch.

 

00:02:32:05 - 00:02:36:17

Christian Soschner

Is it of value for your work so towards lecture everybody.

 

00:02:36:19 - 00:03:02:13

Kara Moore

You know it hasn't been something that I've leveraged too much. I've been talking to a few universities who have told me that they've been able to enter some of their non-confidential technology charges in the chapter bit to figure out which companies could be good targets for those technologies. And so I think things like that could help that research process cut down significantly and be more efficient.

 

00:03:02:15 - 00:03:13:01

Christian Soschner

And in the public relations work at your institution, are you aware of some use cases that evolved that haven't been there last year?

 

00:03:13:03 - 00:03:32:23

Kara Moore

Well, they I mean, I think it it's a it's a great tool to to plop in information to say, you know, rework this to have a certain type of tone or, you know, help give that framework. It's almost like a a skeleton that it can give you to help, then shape into more information. But I think we're just at the beginning.

 

00:03:32:23 - 00:03:43:04

Kara Moore

I think in six months from now, it's going to look totally different as people are adapting to to Chartbeat and Baade and all those other technologies that are coming out.

 

00:03:43:06 - 00:04:02:05

Christian Soschner

Now based on the how it looks like. I mean, it's extremely beneficial for people like me, non-native speakers. So any time when someone said to me, write this email in a more polite way, I said There is a yes, but the whole and now I have catch a pity and can just say, okay, how would Joe Rogan phrase this question?

 

00:04:02:05 - 00:04:25:18

Christian Soschner

Or How would a PR professional from politics in the United States phrased this point in a more polite way? It this is so beneficial to have immediately ten different ideas from which looks to me like coming from specialists and they can sit there and just look and say, okay, I mean, this sounds all this is not me, but the seventh option sounds better than my initial idea.

 

00:04:25:22 - 00:04:27:17

Christian Soschner

So why not try it out?

 

00:04:27:19 - 00:04:48:01

Kara Moore

Right, Right. And but do do know, you know, some of the information that is shared with me is not correct. So so especially when you're looking for fact based information, it's helpful for shaping that narrative. But but some of the information it has it has shared with me is incorrect, especially about the state of New Jersey. So so be mindful of the information.

 

00:04:48:03 - 00:05:16:16

Christian Soschner

That this is so funny. I especially said it's ketchup. It is. It's not lying. It's hallucination. I found it. So it's it's quite funny. Right. And this is so this is so funny that this tool makes up answers like human beings instead of saying you have no information on that or it's not in my database, it's just starts creating information, credibility, right.

 

00:05:16:16 - 00:05:46:10

Kara Moore

That the natural language you know what the models that they fed in And I was talking to a researcher at Rutgers yesterday, Zeeshan Ahmed, who is developing a and I emailed center at Rutgers University for precision medicine. And we were talking about chatbots and how, you know, it's not meant for the biomedical field. And he's got a technology that he it will come out here in the next few weeks that will be published in Nature about his technology.

 

00:05:46:10 - 00:05:51:05

Kara Moore

So it's very exciting what's coming on the forefront to affect life sciences.

 

00:05:51:07 - 00:06:00:16

Christian Soschner

You said you have a business background. How how does this new business background help in your area of work in New Jersey in life science?

 

00:06:00:18 - 00:06:32:00

Kara Moore

Yes. Yes. So, you know, briefly in a just a back up that I'm part of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and I'm the sector lead for life sciences within the organization. It's the sector development department. We're a fairly new department that was formed out of Governor Murphy's 2018 economic development plan. And we work with industry academic institutions, government agencies for a sector based approach to to grow and innovate in the state of New Jersey.

 

00:06:32:02 - 00:06:44:06

Kara Moore

You know, we we have a rich history of invention and innovation. And we we want to reclaim that in the state of New Jersey. Thomas Edison is very famous of having his his lab in New Jersey.

 

00:06:44:11 - 00:06:45:05

Christian Soschner

really?

 

00:06:45:07 - 00:06:53:10

Kara Moore

Yes. Yes. So we are the birthplace of invention, is what we like to say. And then Novartis developed their first CAR-T.

 

00:06:53:12 - 00:07:09:22

Christian Soschner

And can can we still be that Edison? I mean, maybe have not done the research properly. I always forget Edison was in California, in Palo Alto. It was in New Jersey.

 

00:07:09:24 - 00:07:33:04

Kara Moore

Maybe he spent some time in Palo Alto. I'm not I'm not an Edison historian. But yeah, he's he spent some time in Elizabeth, New Jersey. And then we have a town that I actually live nearby called Edison Jersey, which is named after Edison, where he had his lab and developed the telegraph and the phonograph and and all of his inventions and patents came out of New Jersey.

 

00:07:33:04 - 00:08:01:21

Kara Moore

So we are we we like to we have the we have a middle park is where he started his lab I believe in the 1870s. And we are the birthplace of innovation. So hopefully we can get your listeners aware of New York, put New Jersey back on the map, and then the life sciences area. I mentioned Novartis developing their car t cell therapy first in New Jersey, and they're an international company, as you're well aware.

 

00:08:01:23 - 00:08:29:07

Kara Moore

Johnson and Johnson and Legend Biotech, both located in New Jersey, have partnered together to develop Car 50, which was approved by the FDA as a cell therapy. And then Novartis was recently approved last year for camera, another cell therapy. And interestingly enough, Novartis, JNJ and legend are all now partnering together. Novartis is going to be more of a contract manufacturer for the car.

 

00:08:29:07 - 00:09:16:11

Kara Moore

Victor, in in the state of New Jersey. So three large great life science companies working together in the space of cell therapy and then recently ferrying pharmaceuticals. Also, another international company received approval for their bladder cancer, a gene therapy. And they're building a new plant in New Jersey for the manufacturing. And it's and to bring it back to your question of my my background in business research, it's it's reading those news stories and understanding the trends and listening to the earnings calls and knowing where leadership has interest in potentially for expansion or or opportunities for, you know, acquisitions or promoting some of the deal flow for their business development teams is is helpful.

 

00:09:16:11 - 00:09:22:16

Kara Moore

And that asset of knowing how to navigate business information when there's so much I think is a tremendous resource.

 

00:09:22:18 - 00:09:37:16

Christian Soschner

What got you interested in life science? I mean it's a question I get very often. I was I have a business background and people quite frequently ask me why, why life science, Why do we work with scientists? I mean, you are no scientist. What's the reason that got you into life science?

 

00:09:37:18 - 00:10:06:00

Kara Moore

I mean, it's hard to not want to help save lives. So, you know, while I can't I'm not a scientist to be part of that, to be just a piece of that pie to to help these scientists. I was speaking to a gentleman this week who is developing a new cancer therapy, and he was it was he was saying it's so difficult to navigate all these resources that are available in the state.

 

00:10:06:00 - 00:10:30:18

Kara Moore

And I said, that's where I can come in. I can help, you know, these resources while you focus on the important things and cure cancer. So, you know, working for academia was also very beneficial. It's knowing that I was helping the the future workforce and those researchers at these institutions. And so I feel like the between university and life sciences, it's really just helping the greater good.

 

00:10:30:20 - 00:10:47:01

Christian Soschner

That's if I can totally agree to that. It's really nice to see, especially when therapies develop to the market and really make an impact. Do you have some some committed deeper into some examples of your work where your work, commitment and impact?

 

00:10:47:03 - 00:11:10:14

Kara Moore

Yes. You know, I think funneling people to our programs, we have over 60 products available in the state of New Jersey to to support businesses, to products. I think, you know, in my tenure as as the sector lead for life sciences, one program for more smaller companies is a program we offer twice a year called Founders and Funders.

 

00:11:10:16 - 00:11:31:06

Kara Moore

It's an opportunity where we pair companies not just life science companies, all companies in our strategic sectors with with investors. And so we hold this. We're holding the next one in November. We pair you with investors based on the stage and sector of your company. You meet with 6 to 8 investors over the course of a day, ten minute conversations.

 

00:11:31:06 - 00:11:59:13

Kara Moore

It's these warm introductions that are most needed, especially in today's financial market, and to funnel so many life science companies who had the chance to then have a second conversation and a third conversation. So founders and funders has been rewarding to see that that come through with our recent March event. And then we have a separate program called the Net Operating Loss Program, which is for both public and private companies, but biotech companies tend to take advantage of this program.

 

00:11:59:13 - 00:12:25:20

Kara Moore

It's an opportunity to sell off your your New Jersey net operating losses for non-dilutive capital. So we have 75 million allocated each year to this program. The average award last year was $3.1 million to all companies. So it's a lifeline to some of these biotech companies that don't see revenues for quite some time. And to sell off their losses, they can sell off up to 20 million and have access to that non-dilutive capital.

 

00:12:25:22 - 00:12:28:07

Christian Soschner

Let's call. That's absolutely cool.

 

00:12:28:09 - 00:12:42:00

Kara Moore

Yeah, it's very cool. It's a it's a unique program. Not very many states have that program, but it's something that I think one of our one of our companies, the founder, would say it's like having free money. You know.

 

00:12:42:02 - 00:12:49:05

Christian Soschner

It's it's how how does it work for the companies? Exactly. Can you describe the deeper. I could put in more detail.

 

00:12:49:07 - 00:13:15:10

Kara Moore

Sure. So there are certain criteria you have to meet to be qualified in the program. And I don't want to go into those specific details, but essentially those those net operating losses or unused R&D tax credits that you have for the state of New Jersey, you can apply to sell off those that tax offset. So roughly that 9% tax offset of those losses will give you a certificate that you can sell them on the open market.

 

00:13:15:12 - 00:13:36:02

Kara Moore

So there are public companies who want to buy those those tax credits to save on their books. So it's roughly $0.92 on the dollar that they can sell it off in the open market. So companies like IMG, Bank of America tend to be purchasers of these tax credits. So we open that window up once a year every May to June.

 

00:13:36:04 - 00:13:55:08

Kara Moore

We're going through our applications. Right now, the applications look really good. I was able to bring quite a few biotech companies to to be aware of this program. And then we'll we'll announce the the people who were able to succeed in, I think, October, November ish and that they'll be able to start getting access to that capital.

 

00:13:55:10 - 00:14:17:14

Christian Soschner

Now, this is extremely beneficial for life science companies. I mean, usually they accumulate losses in the first 5 to 10 years of existence and then have these one off deals where they sign of a deal with the farm industry that usually has 100 million. So several hundred million, so billions. But before everything is so low, since then they can turn it into capital and sell to losses.

 

00:14:17:14 - 00:14:23:00

Christian Soschner

It's beneficial for the companies and it definitely helps them to move their science forward.

 

00:14:23:02 - 00:14:47:19

Kara Moore

Correct. In fact, a company that took place that took advantage of the program for the first time last year have a Rick bio there in New Jersey. They were just acquired this year by Astellas, Astellas Pharma for about $5.9 billion. So we like to think that we had we had a hand in that another company that had taken advantage of the program prevention bio.

 

00:14:47:21 - 00:15:10:11

Kara Moore

They they focus on diabetes, diabetes treatment and they were just acquired by Sanofi this year for I think $2.9 billion. So it's, it's, it's rewarding to see that our programs were were helpful to keep these these companies going hopefully and and then be good target acquisitions for some of these large pharma companies.

 

00:15:10:12 - 00:15:41:04

Christian Soschner

I mean it's I mean it's an investment from your trust into the companies that later pays off. I think when a company ten is required by the industry does have to pay taxes of course then at the end of the day, did you ever do a calculation of how beneficial it is for your tax system to invest money via your programs in other companies at the earlier stages and then getting taxes back at a later stages?

 

00:15:41:06 - 00:15:57:07

Kara Moore

You know, I don't know if that analysis has been done, but it's a good idea to to see what that what that ROI might look like. And that's probably been done. And we have our economist team who might be working on something like that. But it would be good even to break out just the life science area and do some analysis.

 

00:15:57:10 - 00:16:19:16

Christian Soschner

Absolutely. Absolutely. Interesting. I think it's it's very beneficial to be had a similar system here in Austria. It was a silent partnerships where private persons, small businesses could also acquire the losses, invest in the companies, and then use the losses to catch tax breaks. And it I think it's it's tremendously beneficial for the states and for foreign countries in Europe.

 

00:16:19:16 - 00:16:42:15

Christian Soschner

Here it's more countries because the deals at the end of the day are really huge. And on the way up to the deal, companies pay after taxes. I mean, they also have to pay taxes for their employees. They also pay taxes on housing. But to rent something, then to acquire assets to run the businesses. So I think it's a it's a there must be a positive way, no doubt about it.

 

00:16:42:17 - 00:17:00:06

Kara Moore

Absolutely. And that's just the tip of some of the programs that we have available in the state. And, you know, just getting the word out and hopefully some of your listeners will be interested in exploring New Jersey as a place to set up shop or invest in some of the companies in New Jersey.

 

00:17:00:08 - 00:17:06:11

Christian Soschner

To benefit from this programs. The companies must have their headquarters there. Or can they also have subsidiaries?

 

00:17:06:13 - 00:17:24:21

Kara Moore

Yes. So the requirements are you have to have under 225 employees in total across the world. And then it's based on your year of formation of how many employees you need in the state of New Jersey. So if you're under three years old, you need at least one employee in the state of New Jersey under five years old.

 

00:17:24:21 - 00:17:49:14

Kara Moore

You need 5 hours, 3 to 5 years old. You need five employees in the state over five years old. You need ten employees in the state of New Jersey. And so that's there's there's some more criteria. But basically that's the summary. So it's a 225. A lot of public companies take advantage of the program and they they just have to hit that threshold of under 225 employees to leverage this.

 

00:17:49:14 - 00:18:11:15

Christian Soschner

Good. Let's can we take a quick look on the cultural side of New Jersey? The reason why I ask the question is that last year I had a conversation with Shankar Ray from Georgia, and I learned a lot about the region before I had the conversation, before I always thought that the film industry is only in Hollywood, in California.

 

00:18:11:15 - 00:18:32:03

Christian Soschner

This is what I see the most here in Europe, that we still have this image because of financial fights. And they could probably be sued if this picture that the film industry is only in Hollywood. And she said, no, that's not true. The biggest location for the film industry in the United States is Georgia. And I'm curious to learn what is New Jersey famous for?

 

00:18:32:05 - 00:18:44:05

Kara Moore

Well, we are certainly the medicine chest of the country. We like to claim that as as a life science. But I should mention, while you mention Georgia is a film capital, we are a contender for being a film. Capital is.

 

00:18:44:07 - 00:18:45:06

Christian Soschner

Really.

 

00:18:45:08 - 00:19:06:01

Kara Moore

Governor Murphy would like to think us as the East Coast Hollywood. So we have Netflix just announced they're building a studio in New Jersey. I don't know if you've watched the Apple TV show Severance, but that was filmed in New Jersey. Joker The Batman film was filmed in New Jersey with the New West Side Story, filmed in New Jersey.

 

00:19:06:01 - 00:19:31:09

Kara Moore

So we have a strategic sector of film and digital media, and I have a colleague who oversees that as well. Yeah, you know, clean energy and offshore wind are also huge sectors for us. We're building the first offshore wind port in southern part of New Jersey and we have developed several trained workforce training programs and even a wind institute to support that sector.

 

00:19:31:11 - 00:20:03:18

Kara Moore

Finance and professional services is another strategic sector for us that includes things like e-sports, which we've developed an innovation center around e-sports and sports wagering and then transportation, logistics, technology. Ah, I think I've covered the major sectors that we focused on, but life sciences certainly, certainly the strong focus for New Jersey, given that we have a major pharmaceutical headquarters here, a lot of the international companies have their U.S. headquarters, pharma headquarters here in New Jersey.

 

00:20:03:20 - 00:20:31:12

Christian Soschner

When you think about the speed in life science, you said that New Jersey is basically the capital in the United States for life science and the innovation speed these days is just incredible. I think we talked about artificial intelligence. Check your beauty. And when you see how fast it evolves. In the last six months, I had also a few speakers on the podcast who talked about artificial intelligence in drug discovery and drug development.

 

00:20:31:14 - 00:20:44:18

Christian Soschner

And I always wondered from the original development perspective, how do you keep track of the latest trends and think about how they can influence your programs?

 

00:20:44:20 - 00:21:05:24

Kara Moore

Yes. So and that is staying on top of trends is certainly difficult. And that's where that. RS those RSS feeds come in, come in handy of me looking through all that news that comes through is speaking of AI and drug discovery. I'm actually hosting an event on September 19th, in-person in Newark, New Jersey, on AI and drug discovery.

 

00:21:06:01 - 00:21:33:23

Kara Moore

We'll have a panel of folks discussing how they're leveraging AI in this area will be a start up. I'll have an academic leader who's focused on that space and then two publicly traded by biotech pharma companies talking about how they're leveraging A.I.. So it's certainly coming up as the convergence of AI and in life science. And we're finding more and more companies are seeking tech talent in the life science space.

 

00:21:34:00 - 00:21:58:10

Kara Moore

So we've we've developed some programs to make sure that we're we're keeping top of the the trends that are happening. Another trend that we we came across is in speaking with our industry partners, especially in the cell and gene therapy space, is there was a need for training programs in cell and gene therapy in the clean room space.

 

00:21:58:12 - 00:22:21:05

Kara Moore

And so it's through these one off conversations that we start to hear trends, and that's where the sector development team comes in handy, that we then bring together roundtables. So we have these executive roundtables where we bring in industry, government agencies, local county government, as well as state agencies and academic partners to hear about the needs and come up with solutions.

 

00:22:21:05 - 00:22:48:14

Kara Moore

So last year I ran a cell and gene therapy roundtable with several industry partners in the state hearing about their needs. And since then we have developed with our community college system a biomanufacturing Pathways program and Raritan Valley Community College is building the first clean room in the state for the community college, a simulated clean room to teach students counting techniques, pipette techniques to have these operators ready to go and be credentialed.

 

00:22:48:16 - 00:23:15:24

Kara Moore

We're hearing from our companies that it takes 6 to 9 months to get them trained and then they're soon poached because this sector is just growing and changing rapidly. So we are looking forward to certifying these students and so are our major players such as Novartis, JNJ, Janssen, legend, Biotech, PTC can take advantage of these These trained students and do the the amazing work that they're doing at Wesleyan.

 

00:23:15:24 - 00:23:46:24

Christian Soschner

That's how it works in politics. I mean, I remember political processes as slow moving for a reason so that you can really implement measures that have a huge effect on society over several decades and instead of bouncing around from one year to the other. Now I see this just incredible development speeds all over the world. Globally, we have technologies I can't remember that in the eighties and nineties, technologies evolved so fast that basically every six months we see something new on the market.

 

00:23:47:05 - 00:24:11:24

Christian Soschner

It's rolled out immediately, very quickly. Ketchup It took ten months to reach a few million users or 100 million users. And in the past the same thing took ten years, minimum 15 years. When I look at politics now, I think the process is still for a good reason, are slow moving and then you have to world ignoring it.

 

00:24:11:24 - 00:24:18:22

Christian Soschner

Hyperspeed. How do you how do you get these two worlds together? How how does it work in politics?

 

00:24:18:24 - 00:24:44:15

Kara Moore

Yeah, I mean, that would be that's a difficult question to answer. I mean, it is moving, but we are given that the fact that I would love to have seen the Biomanufacturing pathways jump very, very quickly because the companies need it now. The industry needs it now. Unfortunately, we don't work at that kind of lightning speed. But I do think the fact that we were able to stand something up here in less than a year is is very, very good to see.

 

00:24:44:17 - 00:25:18:06

Kara Moore

It's getting that pipeline of K-through-12 and high school students involved in this pipeline and then staying on top of what's happening at our research institutions. So we're home to the top ranked education system, Princeton University and Rutgers University is is a state institution with 80,000 students available. So knowing what those faculty are working on and the innovations they're there they're focused on and getting federal funding from, help us say, okay, this could be the next phase of innovation.

 

00:25:18:08 - 00:25:42:14

Kara Moore

Talking to our our companies to know what they're working on in their R&D as well as our life science investors. So we regularly speak with with investors who are both located in the state and outside of the state, investing in New Jersey to talk about what they're seen as trends that are happening that help give us that intel to know what programs do we need to to start implementing that will mentioned.

 

00:25:42:14 - 00:26:11:18

Kara Moore

In fact, the governor is pulling together a roundtable for I to covering both the life science, the the fintech, the financial services area, as well as general technology companies to understand where we need to play as a state to help us accelerate the work that's happening in A.I.. So it's this, you know, keeping the lines of communication open, hearing what needs are and then reacting with the appropriate resources and programs.

 

00:26:11:20 - 00:26:32:00

Christian Soschner

Yeah, I think it's extremely challenging. I mean, for example, when I think about lab space, I remember when I started in life science, everything was about chemistry into 5 to 6 and a few years later everything was about biology. And some people say we don't need chemistry anymore. Then in the last podcast, then it'll be pointed out. Now it's gene therapy.

 

00:26:32:02 - 00:26:57:10

Christian Soschner

And then we had m RNA during the pandemic and the demand shift very quickly helped us to influence the decision making process when it comes to providing these very capital intensive assets like lab space. I mean, you can't build a new building every year, remodel it completely the next year, and then rebuild it completely, consume tremendous amounts of capital.

 

00:26:57:14 - 00:27:00:02

Christian Soschner

How do you handle this heat?

 

00:27:00:04 - 00:27:30:16

Kara Moore

Yes. I mean, I think lab space will always be something that's needed that we and we have many, much more lab space coming online, but we have quite a bit of lab space in the state of New Jersey. In fact, I was just speaking to our community partner at Raritan Valley Community College, who's developing this Pathways program, and we're setting up one on one calls with our industry partners to learn about their the requirements that they're seeing for their trained operators so they can make sure they are developing the skills for the workforce of tomorrow.

 

00:27:30:22 - 00:27:54:17

Kara Moore

And what does that look like? In fact, we have a company that's announcing their their location in New Jersey here next week. So I can't mention information, but they have developed a cell ID, cell therapy automation system, which will be exciting to potentially not need as many operators, but also then changes the landscape of do we need such a training program?

 

00:27:54:19 - 00:28:18:11

Kara Moore

But we equated it to e-vehicles and gas vehicles that there will always it'll take some time before we switch to not needing full on labs as the EV market will will take some some while to adopt and there will always be companies that really just need those those traditional labs. So I'm not I'm not fearful of lab space going away quite yet, but hopefully it will reduce the time.

 

00:28:18:17 - 00:28:45:20

Kara Moore

Right now, the costs for gene therapy and cell therapy is just outrageous. I'm not outrageous, but I think when it comes to investment, venture firms are less likely because of the one and done aspect of these treatments. And so if we can scale to where cell therapy and gene therapy is less expensive and more people can get the access they need to treat these diseases, I think that would be a positive.

 

00:28:45:22 - 00:29:16:06

Christian Soschner

You let's face this, all this Congress, especially here in Europe, have good reason to console us. When you have more space available. I think life science is one of the areas where academia, governments and industry needs to work together on a larger scale. And for me, one of the best examples is still the pandemic It showed when Katrina hit the industry and governments really interlink what is possible in a very short time bringing new therapies, new vaccines to remarketing.

 

00:29:16:06 - 00:29:44:11

Christian Soschner

Basically, last year I thought before 2020, this is impossible. It will never happen at that speed. But when everything works together frictionless, it is possible to you have except marinate. We have one example in New Jersey that we can probably discuss a little bit more in detail that shows how academia works together with the government and the industry to move new therapies or vaccines forward.

 

00:29:44:13 - 00:30:14:01

Kara Moore

I mean, you brought up the COVID example of how everyone worked together, and it may not be known that Rutgers University was the first to develop the saliva test, the FDA emergency authorization for the saliva test of COVID. And that company thought that technology then spun out of Rutgers University. It's now a company called Sampled, and they are a large now company here in the state of New Jersey.

 

00:30:14:01 - 00:30:40:09

Kara Moore

We're very proud of that emergency authorization you said they had to help treat during the pandemic. I think when industry, academia and government come together, we have a really exciting initiative happening in the state of New Jersey right now. We're building an innovation hub in New Brunswick, New Jersey. This is a $731 million investment in the state. It's dubbed Helix, which is the Health and Life Sciences Exchange.

 

00:30:40:11 - 00:31:01:16

Kara Moore

It will have three buildings in total. Phase one is starting right now. It's 574,000 square feet. It will be home to Rutgers Medical School and it will be home to a Rutgers translational research. And we will have a space for companies to incubate there. Princeton University will have a footprint there. Robert Wood Johnson Medical will have a footprint there.

 

00:31:01:18 - 00:31:29:03

Kara Moore

And Hackensack, Meridian, another large hospital system in our state, will have a footprint. So we we see this hub as bench to bedside where these these companies can be right next to the clinical research that's happening at our research institutions. The second building will be a space for companies to build. It'll be about 600,000 square feet. And we expect this to come online in 2025.

 

00:31:29:05 - 00:31:58:06

Kara Moore

It is the largest investment for research in in translational medicine that the capital the state has made. And so we're very excited about this partnership. It will also right across the street from the Amtrak station. And if you don't know, if your listeners aren't aware with New Jersey, we are really in the heart of the Northeast corridor. We are northern New Jersey is 20 minutes away from Manhattan and about 3 hours away by train to DC.

 

00:31:58:08 - 00:32:13:07

Kara Moore

And this hub will be in New Brunswick, New Jersey, which is right across from that Amtrak station, as I mentioned. So you can get to D.C., to Boston very easily and hopefully people will will stop off and see the amazing lives that are being saved in the Helix.

 

00:32:13:09 - 00:32:36:09

Christian Soschner

This is called this is called this is called. Let's take it to the next big problem. More in detail the life science companies have. I mean, when I look from the European perspective, that's the development of a company. Initially, it's pretty easy if you have, I think, the world's best grant funding system here in Europe with Horizon and local initiatives.

 

00:32:36:11 - 00:33:00:17

Christian Soschner

But after that, in Europe there's not much capital. So any company after serious aid needs to look for investors outside Europe. It's just our reality. How is the availability of capital of investment funds, of fund managers, of venture capital, of banks in New Jersey for life since companies?

 

00:33:00:19 - 00:33:24:18

Kara Moore

Yes, So that's a great question. And I mentioned some of the other products that we have in resources to connect you to investors at founders and funders, We have a really exciting program that has launched called the New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund. This is a $600 million fund to invest in New Jersey companies, not just life science, but life science, one of the strategic sectors, of course.

 

00:33:24:20 - 00:33:48:16

Kara Moore

So how let me give you a little background on this. This program. It's really unique and we don't know of another state that's that's quite doing it. We have allocated about $300 million to sell off the tax credits to profitable companies. We did that tax auction last fall and had folks bid on tax credits. They can essentially save up to 25% on their New Jersey corporate business tax.

 

00:33:48:18 - 00:34:12:18

Kara Moore

And we sold off about $50 million in corporate tax credits to these companies to seed our fund. In addition to getting that transaction of that savings on their corporate business tax, they also had to commit to being involved in the New Jersey innovation ecosystem, and that could be anything from getting involved in our research institutions to providing space to startup companies.

 

00:34:12:20 - 00:34:39:08

Kara Moore

So companies that took advantage of that first initial auction were people like Daiichi Sanco, who has a location here in New Jersey, Helion, which is the consumer spinoff of GSK. And, you know, Verizon and Comcast, for example, Helion is working with our Rutgers Business School to do some innovation work. Daiichi-Sankyo is working with our pharmacy school to to work closely with those students.

 

00:34:39:10 - 00:35:02:13

Kara Moore

And so now that we've seeded that fund, we're now ready to help deploy that capital. And how it can work is venture firms that are interested in investing in New Jersey can tap into our funding, will match up to six and a quarter million dollars in funding if they find a New Jersey company they want to invest in, we'll even pay the fees and carry on that investment alongside with that venture firm and we'll reserve funds for follow on capital.

 

00:35:02:15 - 00:35:31:16

Kara Moore

So this is very exciting. We've approved seven fund managers, so far. We have approved our first first round of fund managers in May. We approved another round just this last month and we have three more. We're approving in the next month's board meeting and we plan to make our first investment our first match in October. And so if any investors are interested in getting involved, we onboard them into this program where we can they don't have to have their investment identified yet.

 

00:35:31:22 - 00:35:52:16

Kara Moore

But if there are companies that are thinking about trying to gain access to capital, setting up a location in New Jersey, the requirement there is you need 50% of your workforce in New Jersey and it's actually 50% of your U.S. workforce. We don't necessarily count the international workforce. So that could be attractive to some of your international listeners.

 

00:35:52:18 - 00:36:15:05

Kara Moore

Then separately, we have another program that we're standing up that we receive some funds from the federal government. It's a $60 million life science fund to invest in New Jersey life science companies. We've chosen three fund managers to oversee roughly 25 million of that fund, and they will match it with their private dollars. So our public dollars in their private dollars, we're signing the contracts now.

 

00:36:15:05 - 00:36:37:15

Kara Moore

We hope that capital will start to be deployed later this year to have these companies start looking for life science companies. The three firms we've selected, our tech council ventures, Sitter X, Bio and Cygnet Health Care Partners. And so we're we're looking forward to seeing that activity grow. We think with the Evergreen Fund will encourage more VC to come into New Jersey.

 

00:36:37:18 - 00:36:56:24

Kara Moore

We don't have a lot of venture capital firms while we're right next to the financial markets in New York City, we don't have a lot of venture firms having an office in New Jersey, so we're hoping that encourages that. And I should mention that that Evergreen Fund, that strategic commitment, the folks who were part of the options sit on a board, the venture firms we qualify will sit on the board.

 

00:36:56:24 - 00:37:11:07

Kara Moore

And then those investments they made will also be part of that board. So hopefully the startups that get invested to Will can talk to Daiichi-Sankyo very easily and potentially there's some partnerships and some strategic alliances that can take place.

 

00:37:11:09 - 00:37:26:07

Christian Soschner

You mentioned that you chose to invest basically a Hensel Capital two fund managers. Must the funds be located in New Jersey or would it be sufficient that they invest in companies in New Jersey of their offices elsewhere in the United States?

 

00:37:26:09 - 00:37:29:18

Kara Moore

Correct. Yeah. Those investors can be located anywhere in the world.

 

00:37:29:20 - 00:37:32:18

Christian Soschner

And we also service Europe. Anywhere in the world.

 

00:37:32:20 - 00:37:36:04

Kara Moore

Anywhere in the world. Yep.

 

00:37:36:06 - 00:37:56:05

Christian Soschner

So so sorry to interrupt again. It's a basically a fund located in Austria who is willing to invest in companies in New Jersey and manage capital on behalf of your organization of of no charge. If the government of New Jersey can also apply for this program.

 

00:37:56:07 - 00:37:59:05

Kara Moore

Correct? Correct. Well, yes. Yes.

 

00:37:59:07 - 00:38:00:21

Christian Soschner

That's a lot of trust.

 

00:38:00:23 - 00:38:25:01

Kara Moore

We want to encourage investment. So we we we onboard them into the program, the qualified venture firms. And there are certain criteria. They have to have at least 10 million and assets under management. They have to have at least two fund managers with at least five years of experience. And once we they are onboarded on our platform, if they find an investment in New Jersey they want to invest in, we will match one on one up to six and a quarter million.

 

00:38:25:01 - 00:38:43:04

Kara Moore

I will say it's 5 million as the base. But if it's a woman or minority owned business or a technology that's spun out of our research institutions, it can get bonus points up to six and a quarter million. And we will be a special purpose vehicle alongside their investment and we will match their terms.

 

00:38:43:06 - 00:39:01:01

Christian Soschner

Now, this is this is great. I think there will be many European funds interested in that. I mean, naturally they must work together with US funds to move their own assets forward and with that they also have interest to invest in companies in the United States. So if you can match their investment with with more capital, I think this is definitely beneficial.

 

00:39:01:03 - 00:39:07:22

Christian Soschner

And the funds. I know life science, they all have more than 10 million assets under management and.

 

00:39:07:24 - 00:39:09:10

Kara Moore

Get the word out.

 

00:39:09:12 - 00:39:14:05

Christian Soschner

Yeah, sure we do it too. We have terrific podcast which pointed out and.

 

00:39:14:07 - 00:39:40:17

Kara Moore

And I should mention we have a really attractive angel investor tax credit. So any investors, if they are investors in Austria that invest in a New Jersey company, these could be, you know, friends and family angel investors. They can get a 20% credit back from the New Jersey state of their investment. So if they invest $100,000 in a New Jersey company and they have no tax liability in the state of New Jersey, they will essentially get a check for $20,000.

 

00:39:40:19 - 00:39:44:01

Christian Soschner

But they must be accredited investors in the United States.

 

00:39:44:03 - 00:39:46:12

Kara Moore

No, no.

 

00:39:46:14 - 00:39:54:23

Christian Soschner

Isn't that unfair for a for the Europe I mean, they of us angel investors, as far as I remember, must be accredited. Investors must have gone through the process.

 

00:39:55:00 - 00:40:05:15

Kara Moore

Now, this is you know, it could be friends and family that make the investment too. So if I decide to invest in it, there might be a conflict of interest with my my, my working for the government.

 

00:40:05:17 - 00:40:09:10

Christian Soschner

But but that's what they are fighting. Somber, definitely psychopathic.

 

00:40:09:11 - 00:40:35:24

Kara Moore

So several friends and family invest in companies. And in fact, if you are a New Jersey company, you own less than 80% of your company. Your own investment in the company can be can qualify for the credit. It also increases to 25% if you're a woman minority owned business. So it's a very attractive program. We have several international investors that take advantage of this this this angel tax credit and trying to get the word out of these companies.

 

00:40:35:24 - 00:40:53:08

Kara Moore

As soon as I get alerts that somebody's received funding, I try to message them to let them know that they can let their investors take advantage of this program. Of course, there are criteria about the number of employees you need in the state of New Jersey. And and when you file that application. But I think just making people aware of this program could be is.

 

00:40:53:10 - 00:41:17:06

Christian Soschner

Is to maybe overheard it. Is there a certain age that companies must have a minimum of maximum to apply for these programs. So for example when an investor is just thinking about practical case, European company starts in Europe and then for the sake of clinical trials accessing to U.S. markets and accessing more capital, they create a subsidiary, transform it into a headquarter.

 

00:41:17:06 - 00:41:38:18

Christian Soschner

Then, for example, in New Jersey and but already have think that most of them are about five years of age. Then they founded a new company, prepare for an IPO. And the Nasdaq usually wants to also be. But it's also a company, a case that you would support as a government.

 

00:41:38:20 - 00:41:59:10

Kara Moore

It could be there are different create. So what they would need 75% of their workforce in the state of New Jersey for the angel tax credit program. And so it depends on if the subsidiary you know how what those employees look like. But essentially yes it would all depend on and they would have to be in one of our strategic sectors, life sciences being one of those strategic sectors.

 

00:41:59:12 - 00:42:23:18

Kara Moore

But we have all the criteria on our website with all the 60 programs. So it does get very confusing. So I'm happy to address any questions. If there are companies who want to learn more about that program. I should mention we have a sister organization called Choose New Jersey. There are business traction Arm, a nonprofit organization, and they help companies who are looking to set up shop in New Jersey.

 

00:42:23:18 - 00:42:46:17

Kara Moore

We work really closely with them to provide financial incentive products, but they can help people get, you know, get acclimated to the US market. They can also help with site selection. They do market analysis on on salaries of jobs across the state of New Jersey and do some some comparison. If people are looking at Boston or New Jersey they they help do some some analysis there.

 

00:42:46:17 - 00:42:51:14

Kara Moore

So a great organization but people can start with me and I can make referrals as needed.

 

00:42:51:16 - 00:43:23:06

Christian Soschner

Now, usually these companies hire high level executives and they prepare for an IPO on one hand. On the other hand, usually can include project managers or scientists who collaborate and work together before university. So it's not just opening an office for Haiti. So to get some tax credits or tax breaks and then the if it's more having an established headquarter that lasts usually longer, five, ten years, 15 years depends on when the company is acquired.

 

00:43:23:08 - 00:43:36:15

Christian Soschner

So we're not worried about that. It sounds very attractive. I was not a very about the that the United States or the states in the United States are so helpful for relocating companies to their territory in.

 

00:43:36:16 - 00:44:05:04

Kara Moore

Indeed. And we have a great program called NJ Ignite where we help companies who are just getting started set up in our coworking facilities and we'll pay for half of their rent. So it's a grant program where it's a rent subsidy program where will pay for six of their 12 month lease. Let's say we have two facilities that in particular are very attractive to biotech companies, one being one that we own called the New Jersey Bioscience Center in North Brunswick.

 

00:44:05:06 - 00:44:24:24

Kara Moore

That's an incubator space that starts with 900 square feet of private labs, and then you can expand as needed. Those are one year leases with a five year max, and then you move on to potentially our step out labs, which are also part of that campus, which are more 3000, 5000 square feet. And then we also have Princeton bio labs.

 

00:44:24:24 - 00:44:44:01

Kara Moore

You might be familiar with the Bio Labs brand. We have Princeton bio labs in Princeton, New Jersey. They are in partnership with Princeton University, and they have shared bench space as well as private lab space, wet lab and dry space. But those two partners are two of the primary partners that we partner with for our our Ignite program.

 

00:44:44:01 - 00:44:50:10

Kara Moore

We will pay for half of that lease. So if somebody is looking to start to set up shop in New Jersey, that's an attractive program.

 

00:44:50:12 - 00:45:16:00

Christian Soschner

That you mentioned. Princeton and other universities make me think about talent. I think this is the first problem that companies usually face one step space when they are early in the development of with that cost and also access to clinical clinics to patients when they are clinical development. The second one is access to capital, which is a huge problem that companies have to tackle and face.

 

00:45:16:00 - 00:45:42:19

Christian Soschner

Usually you need a lot of investment before it happens, before the industry steps in. And the third one is access to talent. When I think about the European landscape, it can be sometimes challenging to relocate people 300 miles. For example, when I look in the surroundings of Vienna, the city where I live, a hundred miles to the north, you have a different language.

 

00:45:42:19 - 00:46:11:06

Christian Soschner

100 miles to the east have a different language different jurisdiction, 100 miles to the south. It's pretty much the same. English is well spoken all over Europe in offices. But once you travel to more rural areas, people are not talking about speaking English. They would they want to have the mother tongue. So it's challenging for people, for example, from the Czech Republic when they don't speak German, to come to the end to live in Syria.

 

00:46:11:12 - 00:46:32:06

Christian Soschner

It's more areas, touristy area where Arnold Schwarzenegger grew up. And how is it in the United States if companies decide to set up shop in New Jersey? How easy, difficult is it to relocate talent, for example, from San Francisco to New Jersey or from Boston to New Jersey?

 

00:46:32:08 - 00:47:01:21

Kara Moore

We have we have a large, skilled and talented workforce in the state of New Jersey. We have about 445,000 life science workers in the state of New Jersey. While we are the fourth smallest state in the in the nation, we are the most dense, densely populated state and we're the fourth most diverse state in in the country. We are we like to claim that we are the highest population, dense population of scientists and engineers per square mile.

 

00:47:01:23 - 00:47:25:23

Kara Moore

So it's a very skilled workforce. We are the second largest population of foreign born residents and 44% of our our residents have a bachelor's degree. The national average is 34%. So it's this skilled and diverse workforce that I think we hear from companies all the time of why they've located and chosen New Jersey. In fact, I was just at a ribbon cutting last week at Gilead Sciences.

 

00:47:25:23 - 00:47:46:03

Kara Moore

You might be familiar with Gilead. They have their headquarters in California, but they chose New Jersey as their East Coast hub, purely of the talent. They thought the talent was bar none that they could. They could access this level of talent of life science workers to to grow their company. And so they plan to hire 500 workers here in the state of New Jersey.

 

00:47:46:03 - 00:48:27:00

Kara Moore

So it's very exciting. We're hoping that expansion continues as they focus on their oncology efforts here in the state. And many companies, Azi, opened their their their New Jersey corporate headquarters last year in Nutley, New Jersey. They are a Japanese company you might be familiar with, with their Alzheimer's drug that they they were approved for. And so we even have smaller biotechs that just choose New Jersey because of the talent we have there, prestigious research institutions that are spurring out great talent and from our ingenuity has a professionals in professional master's degree, in cell and gene therapy, as well as a graduate certificate in cell and gene therapy.

 

00:48:27:00 - 00:48:38:18

Kara Moore

It's a I think they might be the only one in the country that has that type of professional degree. And the densely populated, highly skilled workforce make talent very attractive to these companies.

 

00:48:38:20 - 00:49:03:06

Christian Soschner

That's true. Thank you for mentioning that. It adds some more color to material storytelling. I have. It was back in 2017 when I visited Tokyo, when I started talking with a tech transfer officer from the Czech Republic, and it was a research institution in Prague and in the capital of the Czech Republic. And I always folk, okay, Prague life science.

 

00:49:03:06 - 00:49:26:10

Christian Soschner

There is not much going on. I mean, the most important hops in Europe are basically London. The Nordics can say we have Munich in continental Europe and of course Austria also plays a part. But I wasn't aware that something is going on in the Czech Republic and at this time it was working with the U.S. and in London and evaluated the collaboration with this Czech organization.

 

00:49:26:12 - 00:49:50:20

Christian Soschner

So I flew in from Austria. Two colleagues from the U.S. flew in from London, we met in Prague and had an 8 hours presentation. And part of this presentation was that the directors of this institution said the pipeline of Gilliatt in the nineties started in Prague in the Czech Republic, and I wasn't aware of that. And it's really true.

 

00:49:50:20 - 00:50:24:23

Christian Soschner

So one of their researchers wants to commercialize some assets from after the 1989 change in the political landscape. They wanted to commercialize an asset and he became friends with the founders of Gilliatt and provided the first asset since Gilliatt paid a lot of licensing fees, went back to Prague and they have built a very nice facility in the heart of Europe with 700 birds cast chemists who push basic research and chemistry forward with the money Gilliatt provides about the licensing deal.

 

00:50:25:00 - 00:50:26:12

Christian Soschner

So it's really.

 

00:50:26:14 - 00:50:36:11

Kara Moore

Wow, that is amazing. What and great to see that innovation hopefully then continuing hope. We would hope that continues in New Jersey as well.

 

00:50:36:13 - 00:50:44:17

Christian Soschner

Absolutely. I mean, if it already starts, it's a good reason for European researchers and also advocates and connectors to start it and in New Jersey.

 

00:50:44:22 - 00:50:47:24

Kara Moore

So absolutely, it's very exciting.

 

00:50:48:01 - 00:51:16:24

Christian Soschner

There is a second parts that I was thinking of. Are you were talking foreign residents. I mean, usually when Europeans relocate the company, also part of the workforce, of course, needs to be then in the United States. How easy or difficult is it to get work permits for the employees, work permits for the executive office so they can travel freely within the United States and also spend sufficient time in the United States to move the company forward?

 

00:51:16:24 - 00:51:20:21

Christian Soschner

Is this is to a challenge or is this a straightforward process?

 

00:51:20:23 - 00:51:43:03

Kara Moore

And I you know, this is something that I don't tend to work on all that much. That's where our choose New Jersey organization is, is super helpful. They have access to those resources from a from legal resources, a county resources, a talent recruitment resources to make sure people have the tools they need to set up shop in the state of New Jersey.

 

00:51:43:05 - 00:52:05:23

Kara Moore

And we have many companies setting up, many international companies setting up in Zim, for example, just announced they are setting up a $50 million plant in Princeton, New Jersey. They are an Indian company, and we have several other expansions that I can't be about right now, but that are coming in the way that a lot of international companies choose to set up their locations here in New Jersey.

 

00:52:06:00 - 00:52:11:09

Christian Soschner

So it doesn't seem to be very complicated and it's an unsolved riddle.

 

00:52:11:11 - 00:52:37:18

Kara Moore

I mean, I don't see that changing anything, but I do think they hire from the United States. A lot of the talent that already exists here. And I think that's one of the reasons they choose, because they have that talent that exists with the interconnectedness of the the small companies to the large companies. There's just a talent pool that's so concentrated that people don't have to don't have to, you know, struggle for talent.

 

00:52:37:18 - 00:52:47:03

Kara Moore

We're speaking to a company now that is struggling for talent where they're at right now, and they're then thinking about relocating to New Jersey purely because of the talent.

 

00:52:47:05 - 00:53:09:16

Christian Soschner

That's that's good to know I wasn't thinking about cultural aspects. I mean, when we have a headquarter, a subsidiary in Europe and they are part of the community in red states, sometimes people just need to meet some people from the United States, then need to spend some time, some months here in Europe to get to know the European workforce, understands the processes, intent in the company and also the other way around.

 

00:53:09:16 - 00:53:25:15

Christian Soschner

Europeans needs to work than in the United States for a couple of months or several years with the people that are basically at the headquarters subsidiary in the United States. So they seem to be very, very simple. Then it's not so very difficult to organize that.

 

00:53:25:17 - 00:53:44:20

Kara Moore

And we are really just essentially located and if you haven't been to New Jersey, it's it's pretty amazing that you can access the mountains, the beaches. You have Manhattan and Philly and everything in between. So we really have this great farm corridor across our whole central New Jersey area.

 

00:53:44:21 - 00:53:58:17

Christian Soschner

And so let's let's let's use this opportunity to talk a bit about what people do when they don't work. I think quality of life is also a crucial role, especially for Europeans. What can people do at the weekend in New Jersey?

 

00:53:58:19 - 00:54:28:21

Kara Moore

Well, like I say, we have our Jersey Shore, our famous Jersey Shore of beaches. We have several we have part of the Appalachian Trail in the state of New Jersey. And we have quality of life. I should mention we have the number one K-through-12 education system in the country. So when companies think to locate and bring a workforce over, knowing that they have a great place to live, for their family to live and work, we have professional sports teams, in fact, will be hosting.

 

00:54:29:01 - 00:54:34:24

Kara Moore

We are one of the host cities for the FIFA World Cup. This upcoming World Cup, we will be hosting one of those.

 

00:54:34:24 - 00:54:37:11

Christian Soschner

It's it's it's in two years, isn't it?

 

00:54:37:13 - 00:54:48:05

Kara Moore

Yes, yes, yes. So we don't know. I don't think it's been announced which game we'll get, but we are excited that will be held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

 

00:54:48:09 - 00:55:16:24

Christian Soschner

How how you how did it happen? Whenever I thought about the United States, I think it was three or four sports, different sports came to my mind. It's American football. It's basically football. It's baseball, basketball and also hockey. Yes. But I started speaking. And lately, I think in the last five years or six years, soccer became more and more accepted and tolerated.

 

00:55:17:01 - 00:55:20:24

Christian Soschner

And now it's a it's a huge movement. How did it happen?

 

00:55:21:01 - 00:55:29:06

Kara Moore

You know, I don't I don't know how it how did we acquire the bid for the FIFA World Cup or how did soccer become.

 

00:55:29:08 - 00:55:34:01

Christian Soschner

How do you how did soccer become so famous in the United States? Basically, no time to. You have a theory.

 

00:55:34:03 - 00:56:00:07

Kara Moore

I don't have a theory. I think we are a sports nation. I mean, football ten American football tends to be the most popular one right now. We're in preseason, so it's very New Jersey Jets are our our team. And we are very excited that Aaron Rodgers has been selected to be our quarterback here in the state. So I don't know if you're following American football, but there's there's a lot of excitement happening there.

 

00:56:00:07 - 00:56:08:10

Kara Moore

And then with the FIFA World Cup, I think that's going to bring even more excitement to to the states. So we're looking forward to hosting one of those games.

 

00:56:08:12 - 00:56:12:16

Christian Soschner

That's great. That's great. The fans, Europeans, beloved.

 

00:56:12:18 - 00:56:13:10

Kara Moore

Is actually.

 

00:56:13:12 - 00:56:17:05

Christian Soschner

A good reason to relocate to New Jersey. That's right.

 

00:56:17:07 - 00:56:20:12

Kara Moore

Yes. It's purely because the World Cup.

 

00:56:20:14 - 00:56:32:06

Christian Soschner

What what what else is going on in New Jersey? I mean, there's a lot of sports, also American football, soccer, I'm pretty sure, also baseball and basketball. What else? On the cultural side.

 

00:56:32:08 - 00:56:57:05

Kara Moore

Guys, we have just so many culturally diverse towns across the state. We have great restaurants and and nightlife activities that happen. I mean, we are a booming state of of of of activity. And we there's just not a lack of things to do. In fact, I'm going hiking tomorrow. You can hike across many trails in the state of New Jersey.

 

00:56:57:07 - 00:57:22:21

Kara Moore

As I mentioned, you have the beaches. I several folks that I know have have sailing opportunities that they go on. So it's it's rich with a cultural activity and you have you can easily go to Broadway in Manhattan easily by train. And you know Bruce Springsteen was supposed to play in Philly I think earlier this week. So was there's plenty of nightlife that happens.

 

00:57:22:23 - 00:57:30:01

Christian Soschner

There is that it's just 3 hours basically to Philadelphia Phillies to Boston, 20 minutes to New York.

 

00:57:30:03 - 00:57:49:06

Kara Moore

It depends on where you're at in New Jersey. But if you're in northern New Jersey, it's about 20 minutes to Manhattan, about 3 hours to D.C. Philly is about depending on where you're located, an hour, the 2 hours away by car. And then Boston is another, depending on where you're at, New Jersey, maybe 2 to 3 hours north of us by train.

 

00:57:49:08 - 00:58:04:07

Christian Soschner

So it sounds to me like I mean, you mentioned hiking. It sounds to me like you can enjoy big city life with New York as well as on the weekends. Then the countryside with with hiking and beaches.

 

00:58:04:09 - 00:58:27:18

Kara Moore

Absolutely. And we have a rich agricultural region as well. I have a colleague who covers food and beverage in the state because we have several large players there and we have a wine country. So a lot of the southern New Jersey is is agricultural. I think we are one of the top ranked for tomato production, eggplant production and red pepper production in the world.

 

00:58:27:18 - 00:58:31:19

Kara Moore

So so we we are rich with farm as well.

 

00:58:31:21 - 00:58:46:22

Christian Soschner

Let's talk a little bit about the future. It's always funny for me to look into the crystal ball with my speakers out. How do you envision the future for life science in New Jersey there?

 

00:58:46:24 - 00:59:12:02

Kara Moore

There's so many exciting initiatives happening right now. I mentioned the hub, the helix that's coming online in the near term. Very exciting. New development coming online is what's called the Nest, the Northeast technology Center, which is the old Merck headquarters in Kenilworth, New Jersey. So Merck is still in New Jersey. They're in Rahway, New Jersey, but their old headquarters is going to be converted to this life science campus.

 

00:59:12:04 - 00:59:36:17

Kara Moore

It's a sprawling, a huge, massive headquarters is going to come online next year that will be home to large companies and small startup companies. And it's just 40 miles outside of New York City. We also have a very exciting project in Jersey City, which is just outside of New York City as well called Sci Tech City. This is in conjunction with Liberty Science Center.

 

00:59:36:19 - 01:00:00:17

Kara Moore

They are building a campus that will include a STEM high school, a residential scholar's village. But what we're excited about is edge works and works as an eight story incubation center focused on digital health. So these won't be labs. This will be more of that A.I. in digital health. On how we can create the new innovations to focus on digital health.

 

01:00:00:19 - 01:00:19:22

Kara Moore

So Sheba Medical Center, you might be familiar with one of the top hospitals, is setting up on the eighth floor, and they're going to be building the hospital of the future. What is the O.R. the future look like? What does your home look like in the future? And then all the other floors will have a conference center and incubation companies that can play alongside with Sheba Medical Center.

 

01:00:19:24 - 01:00:50:17

Kara Moore

So while that is in the process of being built, we Sheba Medical Center plans to do a pop up location to allow companies to start that incubation process. We also have just recently partnered with Hanks, which is in partnership with the Westfield Venture Firm. And this is a hard tech accelerator that focuses on climate tech. And it's late located in New York, our Newark site, Newark, New Jersey, that we we partner with.

 

01:00:50:17 - 01:01:17:01

Kara Moore

They do have a few med devices that I'm very excited that are coming out of hacks. But a lot of the climate tech that they're developing, too, they fund their companies about $250,000. And we have a program we will match that $250,000 for graduates that want to stay in New Jersey. And then lastly, I think I, I, I should mention that Governor Murphy has signed a bill to create a Maternal and Infant Health Innovation center in our city of Trenton, New Jersey, which is our capital.

 

01:01:17:03 - 01:01:39:20

Kara Moore

And this will have research and policy, clinical operations and then space for incubation companies to set up shop there. So we have lots of things happening right now around digital health. Maternal and infant health Campus is available for people to collaborate, such as Helix and Nest. So New Jersey is is a hotbed of activity right now.

 

01:01:39:22 - 01:02:02:16

Christian Soschner

When I think of my life, I have several interests. One is health, the other one is the digital world, and media is the first one. And when I started in life science drug discovery in 2006, I perceived the world basically as silos. You had this drug discovery, drug development silos. So investors wanted to invest in in life science, interactive discovery.

 

01:02:02:18 - 01:02:34:14

Christian Soschner

So daddy did work in track discovery. The same is for media and the same is for digital health. And they always felt a bit sorry for these areas not being connected, since I believe in convergence of technologies. When I look now at the big developments in the world, they happen because technologies are coming together. You mentioned in the last hour several initiatives of your state interact, discover interactive element in artificial intelligence in digital health.

 

01:02:34:16 - 01:02:53:10

Christian Soschner

How do you help these research trusts come together to discuss how they can revolutionize medicine and how they can revolutionize the health care system and don't fall into the habit of becoming again. So they're just not connect. How do you foster connections between these disciplines?

 

01:02:53:12 - 01:03:15:21

Kara Moore

And I think that's that's where we come up. We have something of an initiative called Strategic Innovation Centers, which is place based economic development. And so what I mentioned with the Helix, we are an equity partner in that and we have funded that to help bring together industry, academia and and government agencies to work together physically in the same space.

 

01:03:15:23 - 01:03:54:20

Kara Moore

Nest will also hopefully have an academic partner come online to that area. So it's it's not the silos that people have the ability to connect physically on campuses together. Site Tech City will also have that mix of incubation along with us hopefully in the space and and government agencies as well as academic institutions. So having more of these place based economic development hubs will only encourage and foster more innovation and then making sure people are leveraging our programs that we have to to help finance and spur that innovation.

 

01:03:54:22 - 01:04:06:11

Christian Soschner

It's great. I'm coming to the end with of my questions. Is there any topic open that you would like to discuss in this recording that I didn't mention yet?

 

01:04:06:13 - 01:04:33:01

Kara Moore

No, I really appreciate the conversation and having the opportunity to share New Jersey with your listeners. I think, you know, feel free to follow me on LinkedIn. I tend to post news that's happening with our with our New Jersey companies. We have that upcoming event on September 19th. We're also having another event at Princeton, Biolabs, on September 28th about some of our new New Jersey companies that are spurring innovation around life sciences.

 

01:04:33:03 - 01:04:42:10

Kara Moore

And so, you know, feel free to reach out if I could be a resource to to your listeners. We have many programs and we're here to support entrepreneurs and major biopharma companies definitely.

 

01:04:42:15 - 01:04:59:07

Christian Soschner

And it's come to the call to action. What is the best way for researchers, for investors, for startups, or for the industry or for bigger corporations to connect with your program? After listening to this episode, what should they do as a next step?

 

01:04:59:09 - 01:05:26:22

Kara Moore

Yes, So you can easily go to our website eBay.com and and take a look at our financial incentive programs. That is a little overwhelming. There are so many of them. So I'm happy to have a conversation to to discuss which ones fit for your specific needs. Investors. I encourage you to get involved with our Evergreen program. We are reviewing many qualified investors and excited to bring more investment to the state of New Jersey and and startups who are looking to gain access to that capital.

 

01:05:26:22 - 01:05:52:09

Kara Moore

Contact me and we can we can talk about some of the other programs we have them available. Lastly, I should mention we have a portal called Research New Jersey. So it's research with NJ.com and this is where you can search across all of our faculty expertise across our state. So it's a portal that that aggregates all those research papers and inventions that have happened at at our research institutions for collaboration activities.

 

01:05:52:11 - 01:06:03:12

Christian Soschner

That's super helpful. My final question is how can people connect with you? Do you monitor your LinkedIn profile because they usually link their LinkedIn profile of this because.

 

01:06:03:14 - 01:06:15:17

Kara Moore

LinkedIn is is the best way to reach out, reach out to me via LinkedIn. And we can we can share email addresses or you can reach me at Harvard or a dot more email or a NJ gov carrot.

 

01:06:15:17 - 01:06:37:16

Christian Soschner

Thank you very much for this amazing conversation. I am so happy to hear that governments all over the world continue to help companies, young companies, startups, researchers, scientists and also corporations move forward, connect and hopefully we can bring the next wave of new therapies, new digital health solutions to this society globally together.

 

01:06:37:18 - 01:06:41:15

Kara Moore

Thank you, Christine. I appreciate the time. And let us know when you're in New Jersey.

 

01:06:41:17 - 01:06:45:22

Christian Soschner

Absolutely. I will have a great stay and have a great weekend.

 

01:06:45:24 - 01:06:47:06

Kara Moore

Okay. You too. Bye bye.

 

01:06:47:08 - 01:06:51:21

Christian Soschner

See you soon. Bye.

(Cont.) #119: Kara Moore - Innovating the Future: New Jersey's Bold Leap with NJEDA
(Cont.) #119: Kara Moore - Innovating the Future: New Jersey's Bold Leap with NJEDA
(Cont.) #119: Kara Moore - Innovating the Future: New Jersey's Bold Leap with NJEDA