The medical database COTA and the IBM Watson computer will provide an unprecedented level of data to doctors and nurse as part of a first-of-its-kind program at Hackensack Meridian Health. Get all of the innovation news in this week’s Innovation NJ update.


Report: New Jersey Independent Higher Education Contributes $3.5 Billion to State’s Economy
New Jersey’s nonprofit independent colleges and universities on May 9 released a report that details the $3.5 billion impact the sector makes on the state’s economy. Prepared by Appleseed, the report demonstrates that New Jersey’s non-profit independent colleges and universities are awarding degrees in the state’s most sought-after fields, including STEM, education and nursing.


Event: Jersey Technology: See It, Live It, Accelerate It at NJ Tech Council Jersey Innovation Week May 15-20  NJ Tech Council President and CEO James Barrood writes in NJBIZ on Jersey Innovation Week, May 15-20: New Jersey is one of the world’s leading global centers of transformative technology and innovation. But even within our high-tech industries, many don’t realize the breadth and vigor of New Jersey’s technology communities. And outside our industries, many stakeholders and citizens have only the vaguest sense of New Jersey’s many deep wellsprings of innovation.


Stevens Institute of Technology’s 2017 Innovation Showcases Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The ingenuity and inventiveness of Stevens Institute of Technology students and faculty were on full display May 3 at the university’s Annual Innovation Expo, a showcase of innovation and entrepreneurship featuring an array of senior design projects, research presentations by faculty and invited industry leaders, a keynote speaker and the crowd-pleasing elevator pitch competition. Scores of visitors, including members of the Stevens community, local and national entrepreneurs, distinguished guests and media gathered to learn more about the scientific discoveries and inventions taking place at Stevens, and to ask questions from the individuals behind those innovations.


U.S. Senate Confirms Dr. Scott Gottlieb to Head FDA with 57-42 Vote

The U.S. Senate voted 57 to 42 on May 9 to confirm Dr. Scott Gottlieb as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) voted against Dr. Gottlieb’s nomination. Dr. Gottlieb, 44, has promised to divest himself from several healthcare companies and recuse himself for one year from decisions involving those businesses. Dr. Gottlieb was seen as a moderate choice of President Donald Trump’s, compared with other candidates whom he was reportedly considering.


Rowan/Rutgers Board Teams Up with Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals to Improve Alzheimer’s Care Model Anjalee Khemlani reports in NJBIZ that a new public-private partnership between the Rowan University/Rutgers-Camden Board of Governors and Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Princeton aims to create a better care model for patients with Alzheimer’s a disease that adversely affects a significant portion of Camden’s residents. Being touted as the first of the kind in the nation, the new program is based off a model Otsuka used for oncology with the University of Alabama at Birmingham.


Medical Innovation: COTA, IBM Watson Teaming Up for Pilot Program at Hackensack Meridian Anjalee Khemlani reports on NJBIZ: The doctor walks in and says, “Well, I just consulted with everyone on the planet Earth over the last 30 years to see how they took care of people like you, and then I looked at a database that precisely looked at people who have exactly what you have, and are exactly like you, and this is what I have learned in the past five minutes, and this is why I am going to recommend this treatment.” That, said Dr. Andrew Pecora, is what the new pilot program between COTA and IBM Watson is all about.


Liberty Science Center Honors “Hidden Figures” Trailblazer Katherine Goble Johnson as “Genius” Amy Kuperinsky reports in The Star-Ledger/ that, in 2015, Katherine Goble Johnson received the National Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. In 2016, the work of Johnson and her NASA colleagues was chronicled in the book “Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race,” by Margot Lee Shetterly. The book told the story of how as a research mathematician and “human computer,” Johnson became one of the first African-American women to work at NASA, calculating crucial trajectories for space missions at a time when segregation dictated separate bathrooms.


AAAS Applauds Congress for Protecting Fiscal 2017 R&D Spending

Anne Q. Hoy reports that the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) applauded congressional leaders for their bipartisan support in backing fiscal 2017 funding for research and development programs, according to a letter AAAS sent to House and Senate leaders on May 9. “We commend Congress and the White House for working together to prevent a government shutdown and finalizing appropriations for fiscal year 2017,” said Rush Holt, AAAS CEO and executive publisher of the Science family of journals, in the letter sent to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Upcoming Events

Jersey Innovation Week

When:  May 15 – 20, 2017

Where: Various Venues


Propelify Innovation Festival

When: Thursday, May 18, 2017

Where: Hoboken


BioNJ’s 2017 BioPartnering Conference — In partnership with J.P. Morgan

When: Tuesday, May 23, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Where: Busch Campus Center, Rutgers University, Piscataway


The Internet of Things Topic: Disaster Mitigation

When: Thursday, June 8, 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Where: Kean University