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Biomedical Mavens Meet

BIZ SPOTLIGHT – EngineeringBIZ SPOTLIGHT – Engineering

The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) was preparing last week for a crowd of about 300 people from industry, academia and government to attend the Fourth Annual New Jersey Biomedical Engineering Showcase on its Newark campus.

Companies planning to participate included Excelsior Medical of Neptune, Scimedx of Denville and Herbst Research of Edgewater, which were to share the floor alongside schools such as Rutgers University and the Stevens Institute of Technology, and the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology (NJCST).

Discussed were job opportunities, technology commercialization and other topics of interest to people in the field of biomedical engineering, a growing branch of the

life sciences.

Making medicine derived from stem cells and designing futuristic devices such as so-called smart prostheses—that are being developed to integrate with the body and function like healthy limbs—would not be possible without biomedical engineers “who are sometimes a misunderstood population,” says Judith Sheft, assistant vice president of technology development at NJIT, one of the event’s sponsors. “Companies frequently don’t understand how and where they can use biomedical engineers to their best advantage. They represent a mix of life sciences and engineering. They use engineering approaches to solve a variety of [medical] problems.”

Attending companies—primarily medical device and drugmakers—will probably be scouting for potential employees, advertising to find partners and seeking financing, says Sheft.

Since many biomedical engineering students in New Jersey are citizens of other countries, she says, a seminar was planned to help companies navigate the process of hiring foreigners. Another panel discussion was to address how firms could access state money and other support through groups like the NJCST, the Economic Development Authority and the New Jersey Spinal Cord Commission.

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