The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation, and Technology (CSIT) has awarded a combined $3.9 million in grants to 45 startups statewide through its Catalyst Seed Research and Development (R&D) Grant and Clean Tech Seed Grant programs.

The awards will help these young companies accelerate development of their technologies and transform their discoveries from the research stage into commercially viable products and services.

“Funding New Jersey startups today through grant programs like the Catalyst Seed R&D Grant and the Clean Tech Seed Grant helps to guarantee a strong economy in the future and furthers Governor Phil Murphy’s vision for the state,” said CSIT Executive Director Judith Sheft. “Cultivating companies within our state during their formative years helps us to promote financial growth, sustainability, and economic mobility for years to come.”

CSIT’s Catalyst Seed R&D Grant Program has awarded 27 early-stage startup companies a total of $2.6 million in funding through grants of up to $150,000 for life sciences startups focusing on drug development and therapeutics and up to $75,000 for R&D.

Emerging companies receiving awards for R&D are involved in technological innovation across manufacturing, transportation and logistics, film and digital media, life sciences, non-retail food and beverage, finance and professional services, and technology sectors, all of which are identified as targeted industries in Governor Murphy’s economic development plan.

Of those receiving awards from CSIT, 95 percent (25) of awardees have five or fewer employees, 43 percent (12) are certified as minority-owned businesses, and 30 percent (9) are certified women-owned. Additionally, 22 percent (6) awardees have licensed technology from a New Jersey university.

“New Jersey’s startups are amongst the very best in the nation and truly place the State at the forefront of innovation and conservation,” said CSIT Vice Chair and BioNJ Founding President and CEO Debbie Hart. “The Catalyst Seed R&D Grant and Clean Tech Seed Grant Programs reinforce the State’s commitment to its small businesses and nurtures advancements in a range of innovation areas including technology, life sciences, and clean tech sectors.”

A total of $1.3 million in funding will also be awarded to 18 companies chosen in Round 2 of the Clean Tech Seed Grant Program. The Clean Tech Seed Grant Program, which was jointly developed by CSIT and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), provides grants for R&D activities to very early-stage, New Jersey-based clean technology companies that will help them to advance their development on products and services to a point where they can more readily appeal to outside investors and, in some cases, begin to generate revenue.

“Under Governor Murphy’s leadership, New Jersey has become one of the best places in the nation to grow and scale a company, especially a startup,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “CSIT’s Catalyst Seed R&D Grant and Clean Tech Seed Grant programs allow entrepreneurs to secure funding for vitally important research and new technologies that not only better our society, but also create new high-paying jobs grow our economy and solidify New Jersey’s reputation as a leader in equitable, diverse, and transformative innovation.”

Seventy-two percent (13) of awardees have five or fewer employees. Additionally, 15 percent (3) of the awardees are certified as minority-owned businesses, and 15 percent (3) are certified women-owned. Eleven percent (two companies) awardees have licensed technology from a NJ university.

“Grants such as the Clean Tech Seed Program bring us one step closer to achieving Governor Murphy’s goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050,” said New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “Our partnership with NJEDA and CSIT, coupled with today’s announcement, exemplifies this Administration’s cross-agency approach to developing and implementing initiatives that will simultaneously help us meet our clean energy goals and grow our green economy with exciting innovation.”

The funding for the Clean Tech Seed Grant Program, which is being provided through the NJBPU’s Clean Energy Program, will advance innovation that will help the state achieve Governor Murphy’s clean energy goals as outlined in New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan. The plan, created in 2019, helps to set New Jersey on a path toward 100 percent clean energy by 2050.