Rutgers Food Innovation Center Mission

We are a unit of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, with a mission to stimulate and support sustainable economic growth and prosperity to the food and agricultural industry by providing businesses with innovative research, customized practical solutions, resources for business incubation and a trusted source for information and guidance.


Since the Rutgers Food Innovation Center was established in 2001 we have earned a number of highly competitive awards for our impacts in economic development, business and technical programming and community engagement.  These awards are summarized below.  We are extremely proud and thankful to the sponsoring agencies.


Designated as Soft Landings site by InBIA, due to our focus on international business attraction.   There are currently 31 InBIA-recognized Soft Landings programs globally, and the Rutgers Food Innovation Center is the only Soft Landings food incubation program… in the world!

Awarded as “Food Incubator of the Year" by the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA), in the inaugural year of this award in 2016.  Criteria for this award include business development services offered, program results, success stories, and adoption of best practices.

Awarded “Incubator of the Year,” by the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) among all incubators globally in 2007

Recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as a winner of its first Growth Accelerator Fund competition, and one of only 50 programs so recognized in the nation in 2014.

Recognized as a “Agricultural Innovation Center Demonstration Program,” by USDA RD,  based upon “a demonstrated track record of achieving value-added successes through use of highly qualified and experienced personnel, a well-developed work plan with an emphasis on economic development, and a commitment to community partnerships” in 2003.

Awarded first “Partnership Award for Innovative Program Models” by USDA-CSREES, for “creating a national innovative program model” and “achievement as a model for community and economic development and jobs creation” in 2007

The recipient of the Rutgers Presidential Award for Research and Service to New Jersey for “contributions to the health and economic well-being of communities across New Jersey” in 2008.

The recipient of an Economic Development Achievement Award from PlanSmart NJ, “as a model of sound land use planning, regional cooperation and impacts in economic development” in 2009.

The recipient of the Annual Bridgeton Area Chamber of Commerce Salute to Business and Industry Award in the Agriculture sector in 2014.