Monmouth County, The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and partner The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) have been awarded a $100,000 grant from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) as part of the Innovation Challenge.  

The NJEDA launched the Innovation Challenge in July through a Request for Qualifications/Proposals, offering individual communities or municipalities an opportunity to compete for planning awards of up to $100,000 to catalyze the growth of local ecosystems throughout the state of New Jersey.

FMERA is preparing to release a Request for Offers to Purchase on the MacAfee Center parcel. They believe the best use for the parcel is for the development of a mixed-use, technology campus.

The McAfee Center parcel and the optional Tech South parcel, is a combined 47 acres. The McAfee Center building has approximately 89,492 sq. ft. and nine additional buildings, three of which are considered in good condition to reuse.

Freeholder Deputy Director Lillian G. Burry who is the liaison to the Division of Planning and a member of FMERA said, "Monmouth County is seeking to facilitate the growth of an emerging technology cluster at Fort Monmouth, which already houses the headquarters of three technology companies, currently employing over 1,000 people on the former Fort.

The County, along with NJIT through their affiliate the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), hope to undertake a Cluster Readiness Assessment in order to identify key assets and opportunities, as well as engage stakeholders and target one or more technology subsectors, which will in turn enable the County and FMERA to craft a sustainable economic model and build a collaborative tech cluster at Fort Monmouth.

"NJII is excited to e partnering with Monmouth County and FMERA for this effort. Economic development is at the core of our mission and FMERA creates a unique opportunity for collaborative innovation. We will be proposing the best focus for attracting technology and high paying jobs to the FMERA campus," said NJII Executive Director Ian Trammell.

"We are thrilled to receive this important grant, which will help us attract more technology firms that will employ our able Monmouth County workforce while enriching the local economy," said Thomas A. Arnone, Freeholder Director and liaison to the County's economic development division.

On September 13th, Governor Phil Murphy announced tat NJEDA would be awarding $100,000 to nine communities to advance plans to strengthen their local innovation ecosystems through the Innovation Challenge.

The nine communities are: the City of Bridgeton, the City of New Brunswick, Passaic County, the City of Trenton, Atlantic County, the City of Atlantic City, Camden County, Union Township and Monmouth County.

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