HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- On behalf of Governor Edward G.
Rendell, Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Yablonsky today
announced the certification of five new Keystone Innovation Zones that will
accelerate economic growth and promote collaboration among colleges,
universities, local economic developers, local government and businesses in
"Through innovative new programs like Keystone Innovation Zones, we are
demonstrating our commitment to retain our students and to create an
environment where companies with growth potential can start and stay in
Pennsylvania," said Secretary Yablonsky. "This revolutionary program is an
opportunity for Pennsylvania to benefit from one of our most valuable
resources - our world class college and university system."
The Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority approved operational
funds for the Luzerne County, Lackawanna County, Greater Oakland, Harrisburg
Market and University City (Philadelphia) KIZs. The KIZ program offers
graduates an incentive to stay in Pennsylvania by creating an environment
where opportunities are abundant, help is accessible and innovation is
encouraged and rewarded.
The Commonwealth's economic success depends on important economic drivers
such as the KIZs. A prime source of that economic funding comes from the more
than 200 institutions of higher learning, located in communities throughout
Pennsylvania. As a crucial part of Governor Rendell's economic stimulus
program, the KIZs will encourage the creation of new business, expand the
research and development sector of Pennsylvania's economy and facilitate
technology transfer to existing companies.
The BFTDA is a state-funded network dedicated to fostering technology
innovation, strengthening the Commonwealth's economy and creating and
retaining high-salary jobs that require advanced skill levels. The BFTDA
provides funding for technology partners and support for its partners
throughout Pennsylvania that identify the most promising technological
ventures and provides them with technical assistance and capital.
The BFTDA supplies administrative funding for the Zones, allowing the KIZ
institutions of higher education and companies to be eligible for priority
review of various DCED grant, loan programs and business tax credits.
Please see the attached addendum for additional information on the newly
certified KIZs. For general information on KIZs and other economic stimulus
programs, visit http://www.newPA.com or call 1-866-GO-NEWPA (1-866-466-3972).
Editor's Note: Descriptions of the five new KIZs follow.
Project: Luzerne County and Lackawanna County Keystone Innovation Zones
KIZ Coordinator: Greater Valley Technology Institute
Amount Awarded: $250,000 will be awarded to each KIZ
The Luzerne and Lackawanna County KIZs will be a unique partnership of two
separate, but closely aligned KIZs. This partnership will include 12
universities and colleges in the region including: College Misericordia;
King's College; the University of Scranton; Marywood University; Johnson
College; Keystone College; Luzerne County Community College; Penn State
University (Hazelton, Wilkes-Barre, Worthington/Scranton); and Wilkes
University. The Zone will focus on the strengths of each school. Each of these
institutions brings relevant expertise to the initiative. The life sciences at
these institutions employ more than 260 scientists.
Both the Luzerne and Lackawanna County KIZs will target technology-driven
business growth including the health-care/life sciences,
nanotechnology/advanced manufacturing and plastics, information technology/new
media and back office/finance areas. A number of these areas will feed into
the area of Homeland Security.
Project: Greater Oakland Keystone Innovation Zone
KIZ Coordinator: Mellon Pitt Carnegie Corp.
Amount Awarded: $250,000
The Greater Oakland KIZ will support the Pittsburgh region and its
universities' efforts to enhance the volume and success of new technology
based growth in southwestern Pennsylvania's economy. The partnership will
include two universities: the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon
The partners of the Greater Oakland KIZ foresee leveraging the
opportunities provided by the KIZ program to create a collaborative,
technology-based economic development partnership that will focus on important
zone program elements and provide a platform for a broader regional technology
agenda. The Greater Oakland KIZ will target the information technology, life
sciences, specialty chemicals and horizon technologies industries.
Project: Harrisburg Market Keystone Innovation Zone
KIZ Coordinator: Capital Region Economic Development Corp.
Amount Awarded: $250,000
The Harrisburg Market KIZ will focus on four key areas for growth: Penn
State Hershey Medical Center, Penn State Harrisburg (Middletown campus),
Harrisburg City Market Street Corridor and selected sites in the city of
The industry clusters focused on by the Harrisburg Market KIZ will target
advanced manufacturing, life-sciences and business-technology solutions. The
advanced manufacturing cluster will have a particular focus on the electrical
components, fabricated metals, industrial machinery and advanced small
manufacturing. The life sciences cluster will be supported by research and
development under way at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. The Life Sciences
Greenhouse located in the capital region will provide critical mentoring,
investment and other support.
This KIZ will include the following educational institutions: Hershey
Medical Center, Penn State Harrisburg, Messiah College, Central Pennsylvania
College, Harrisburg University, Harrisburg Area Community College, Dickinson
College and Shippensburg University.
Project: University City Keystone Innovation Zone
KIZ Coordinator: University City Science Center
Amount Awarded: $250,000
The University City KIZ will further unlock the potential for job creation
in the Philadelphia area. The zone's activities will focus on life sciences,
technology, innovation and workforce development. The life-sciences focus has
been integrated across a span of industries, such as information technology
and nanotechnology, and is designed to enhance the commercialization of the
technology output of the partnership. This will in turn, provide a focus for
the continued growth of a new, mid-Atlantic, high technology-based venture
The zone will include the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel
University. The University City KIZ will target many life-sciences innovation
industries including, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, information technology,
nanotechnology, nanomedicine and bioinformatics.
CONTACT: Neil R. Weaver
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development