An Academic Perspective: Cross-Sector Collaboration at the Heart of Newark’s Tech Renaissance

Photo: Nancy Cantor  is Chancellor of Rutgers University–Newark. Photo Credit:
Nancy Cantor is Chancellor of Rutgers University–Newark. |

[Cantor is Chancellor of Rutgers University–Newark. This contribution was written as part of our Story of the Year 2016: Newark’s Tech Renaissance. ]

Newark is making headlines today as a great place to live and work—and buy what you need to do both. And underlying all of that is expansive, cross-sector collaboration.

For example, Rutgers University – Newark is partnering with a coalition led by, including Prudential Financial, The Fidelco Realty Group, Dun & Bradstreet and others to tap local talent and cultivate new generations of local tech entrepreneurs through Newark Venture Partners, which provides them with financial backing, mentoring and business and technical expertise — all housed at Rutgers Business School in Newark.

Speaking of which, business professor Ted Baker is working with local tech entrepreneurs to launch new ventures, even when resources are scarce, through the Rutgers Advanced Institute for the Study of Entrepreneurship and Development (RAISED), with an emphasis on creating new businesses that promote healthy and vibrant communities, foster sustainable environments and create good jobs for local people.

Newark’s existing 400-plus businesses in the city’s surprisingly robust manufacturing sector are getting a boost from business professor Kevin Lyons, who is working to better connect supply chains by leveraging technology and building the capacity of local firms. Capacity building is also the primary aim of Express Newark, the 50,000-square-foot “arts collaboratory” opening next month in the newly renovated Hahne & Co building, downtown, where students, faculty, staff, artists, community members and a host of others will come together for a common cause: to express themselves and thereby tell the story of Newark from the perspective of the people who live, work and study there. This will include creating art facilitated by technology, from digital photography and video to 3D printing.

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