Rendell Administration Announces Certification Of 5 New Keystone Innovation Zones

    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
 their regions.
     "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
     Project Details:
     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
     Project Details:
     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
 University.
     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
     Project Details:
     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
 Carlisle.
     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
     Project Details:
     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
 community.
     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
               (717) 783-1132
 
 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development

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