Over 3 Centuries, Mercer Makes & Innovates

October 2, 2013 – In The News
U.S. 1

Richard C. Woodbridge was quoted in the U.S. 1 article “Over 3 Centuries, Mercer Makes & Innovates." While the full text can be found in the October 2, 2013, issue of U.S. 1, a synopsis is noted below.

Mercer County can take pride in groundbreaking technologies over the past two centuries, but what is in the future for its technology of this century?

Dick Woodbridge weighed in, reminiscing on his father, a chemical engineer who commuted from Princeton to New York for his job as an insurance executive, but made inventions on the side.

“He had seven or eight patents to his name – several of which I wrote,” says Woodbridge. “I remember seeing the great scientists like Einstein and Oppenheimer as a boy growing up, so my appreciation of Princeton science and high tech goes back to an early age.”

Woodbridge has also witnessed as New Jersey fell from the third highest patents per-capita in the country in 1973 to eighth currently. Many patent instigators in the state left or have had their patent work shrink, with the dotcom bubble burst having negative ramifications as well.

“That was the equivalent of a nuclear bomb to some of the communications companies,” says Woodbridge.

New Jersey could do better, says Woodbridge, citing a 2004 study for Prosperity New Jersey, which labeled the route 1 high tech corridor as a “natural economic cluster.”

“Fifty percent of high tech comes out of the Route 1 corridor,” Woodbridge says, “but the report fell on deaf ears. The Route 1 corridor needs some serious state attention. Nobody in state government really understands the importance of high tech.”