Rutgers Food Innovation Center

The Spring 2012 Rutgers Bloustein School Community Development Studio conducted a study of the Rutgers University Food Innovation Center (FIC) in Bridgeton, New Jersey. The FIC is a full service food incubator, the only food-related business incubator in the state. It provides core food-processing business services including business development, market testing, product development, networking services, regulatory assistance, quality control and food safety assistance. The FIC is part of a growing effort to enhance food-related economic development. It has well-quantified and documented impacts from the core business and technical services it offers to farmers and food businesses. However, identifying its community economic development impacts has been more elusive. Thus, this report chronicles the impacts of FIC’s broader social mission and catalogues the FIC’s efforts to achieve these goals. To document these less tangible impacts, the team explains the FIC from conceptualization, through implementation and its future plans.