Following in the footsteps of the president under whom he served, Gov. Phil Murphy is trying to bring an innovation strategy to New Jersey in 2018 that is similar to the one President Barack Obama introduced to the country in 2009.
“We’re digging out of a hole,” Murphy said in a recent interview with ROI-NJ. “We’re the land that time forgot here in terms of the development of this economy.
“We used to be really good at it, we did it in our sleep — and then we stopped. So, we are pulling a lot of different levers right now.”
The economic strategy is one those in the technology industry understand well, and have seen growth from, in the last decade.
But, unlike the national-level support that Obama enjoyed in his first few years in office, Murphy has to focus on state resources to achieve any potential success.
“We can do a lot on our own, and we are,” he said.
Between free tuition for community college students and providing rent assistance to startups, Murphy is moving forward with many of the core areas of aid that he believes will lead to a stronger economy. He is supporting renewable energy sources and greater public-private partnerships, has revamped the research and development tax credit, and his administration has made an effort to put greater emphasis on incentivizing startups and angel investors.
Much of this has been either directly from his office or through the state Economic Development Authority. But Murphy made it clear it’s all hands on deck.
“I’m completely convinced you have to get at this in a variety of ways,” he said. “My hope, in the fullness of time, is that we’ll look back and say that we unleashed a lot of different levers in the innovation economy, and we’ll tweak it over time. My strong suspicion (is), like everybody, we all learn over time. What works best, what works less well.