New Jersey’s Liberty Science Center is about to open the biggest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere—32 percent larger than Manhattan’s famous Hayden Planetarium—just in time to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2018. Get more in this week’s Innovation NJ update.

As 25th Anniversary Approaches, Liberty Science Center Boldly Going Where No Science Center Has Gone Before As it approaches its 25th anniversary on January 23, 2018, Liberty Science Center is about to make a major leap forward. Later this year, the Jersey City landmark will open the biggest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, which will be 32 percent larger than Manhattan’s famous Hayden Planetarium. It will sit inside the Science Center’s iconic Dome Theater, which is being refitted with a new screen and other upgrades as part of the conversion to a sophisticated digital system.

NJ Labor Department Names Universities to Oversee Seven Talent Development Centers; Part of State’s ’65 by 25: Many Paths, One Future’ Initiative The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) on Oct. 30 named seven state colleges and universities as the recipients of $8.4 million in state grants to oversee the state’s Talent Development Centers (TDC). The grants will help create innovative career pathways and apprenticeships in the Garden State’s seven key industries.

R&D Council of New Jersey Presents 2017 Edison Patent Awards and Special Recognitions Honors The Research & Development Council of New Jersey presented its 2017 Annual Edison Patent Awards on Nov. 2 at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City. The 2017 Edison Patent Award winners were: Biomaterials: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Biomedical: New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Energy: Siemens Energy, Environmental: BASF, Imaging Systems: Princeton Plasma Physical Laboratory, Industrial Process: ExxonMobil, and more.

Higher Education in NJ: New Facilities and Programs; The Foundation for an Enriched Education Experience on Campus Assistant Editor Jim Pytell reports in New Jersey Business that, while competition between universities across the country is evident, in New Jersey it feels as if there is an added emphasis on attracting and retaining students, considering the outmigration issues that the state currently faces. Higher education has an impact on all industries in varying degrees. Universities serve as a conduit in their respective states, and New Jersey is no different – with its plethora of schools.

Senator Booker Sponsors Legislation to Advance Small-Business Accelerators and Incubators John Reitmeyer reports on NJ Spotlight that a major element of President Donald Trump’s plan to overhaul the federal tax code involves corporate tax-rate cuts that are supposed to lead to more business investment and hiring. But a bipartisan group of lawmakers – including New Jersey’s Cory Booker – is backing legislation that follows a different approach to economic growth by investing directly in the development of small businesses and startups.

Rutgers’ Amarel Technology Helps Research Community Solve Enormous Calculations and Variables Arthur Augustyn reports in NJBIZ that as companies get larger, so do their challenges. For big data problems, the difficulty isn’t finding a solution but understanding the scale of an issue. Computers have been an integral part of simplifying company problems and finding solutions at faster rates than individuals. But as the problems of businesses get large and more complex, computers also need to beef up. Rutgers University’s Office of Advanced Research Computing rolled out its most advanced technology yet in July.

Princeton University Panel Concludes that Mix of Biotech, Data Science Is Promising for Better Health and Business Growth in NJ Steven Schultz reports for Princeton University’s Office of Engineering Communications that companies and academic institutions of New Jersey have a unique opportunity to solve health care problems and grow new businesses at the intersection of biotechnology and data science, a panel of leaders from industry and academia concluded at a conference convened by Princeton University on Oct. 25. The event was organized by Princeton University’s Office of Corporate Engagement and Foundation Relations with the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Opinion: NJIT President Joel S. Bloom on ‘Quality Workforce Is Essential for STEM Economy’ NJBIZ on Oct. 31 published the following opinion piece by Dr. Joel S. Bloom, president of New Jersey Institute of Technology: College affordability is a very real and very complex problem that deserves serious attention. There is no disputing that tuition rates have increased at an unsustainable rate over the last two decades and that student debt has risen as well. There also is no disputing that state funding of higher education has significantly eroded during that same time frame.

Upcoming Events

The Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship’s (ILSE) ‘Regional Academic Drug Discovery Symposium: Tomorrow’s Drugs Today’ – Union, NJ.
When: Wed., Nov. 8, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Where: Union

Celebrate Princeton Invention
When: Thurs., Nov. 9,
Where: Chancellor Green Rotunda, Princeton University

PharmaVOICE Webinar: Digitizing Clinical Research Processes – The New Frontier
When: Wed., Nov. 15, 2 pm – 3 pm
Where: Webinar

NJ Tech Council’s 21st Anniversary Awards Celebration
When: Thurs., Nov. 16, 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Where: Somerset, Franklin Township

NJ Department of Health and Rutgers University’s ‘ShapingNJ: Building a Culture of Health in NJ’ – Edison, NJ.
When: Wed., Nov. 29, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm
Where: Pines Manor, 2085 NJ-27, Edison

Envision Conference Princeton
When: Dec. 1 – 3, 2017
Where: Princeton University, Princeton

BioNJ’s Third Annual Inspiring Women in STEM Conference
When: Friday, Dec. 1, 2017
Where: Sanofi, 55 Corporate Drive, Bridgewater