Pittsburgh Innovation Developments
Recent stories impacting Pittsburgh's innovation ecosystem
Thrival 2018 Presents“LIFE.CODE”
Dates, New Location, and First Ticket Release Announced
(PGH – 5/8/2018) The annual Thrival Festival will take place this September 19-21. Building off of momentum created in 2017, Thrival will once again host its Humans X Tech programs in Pittsburgh’s East End and Oakland neighborhoods, while moving its live music and arts experience into the city limits for the first time since 2015. Ascender, a Pittsburgh-based economic development nonprofit, produces Thrival each year.
“LIFE.CODE” is the theme of Thrival 2018, for both its Humans X Tech and Music X Arts platforms. Using Pittsburgh’s fast growing reputation in automated systems, advanced manufacturing, robotics, and life sciences, Thrival Festival will host a variety of programs, events, and experiences that explore the oft-cited “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Carnegie Museum of Art will once again host Thrival’s Humans X Tech main event, LIFE.CODE Interactive Experience, in conjunction with its popular “Third Thursday” series. The festival added another location as a host site this year, based in Oakland, the home of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will host the festival’s LIFE.CODE Summit, featuring a day of panels, debates, and workshops.
Thrival Music X Arts (formerly, "Thrival Music"), the festival's outdoor live music and arts experience will return inside of Pittsburgh city limits for the first time since 2015. This year, Music X Arts makes its home at Highmark Stadium, located on the riverfront directly across from downtown Pittsburgh.
LifeX™ Health Solutions Platform Opens Headquarters
Announces $2 million Henry L. Hillman Foundation grant
(PGH – 4/17/2018) LifeX™, as part of Life Sciences Week 2018, celebrated the opening of its first headquarters, where it will provide expertise and working space to aid the growth of biotechnology companies.
Launched in December 2017, LifeX is a biotechnology commercialization platform that empowers scientist entrepreneurs to create and deliver new solutions to alleviate suffering and premature death across the globe. Founded by the University of Pittsburgh, LifeX’s initial cohort of companies will focus on unmet health needs related to cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, obesity and diabetes and rare genetic diseases.
The facility at 2124 Penn Ave. in Pittsburgh’s Strip District includes office and laboratory space where biotechnology companies can collaborate. In addition to the physical space, the LifeX platform brings together experts with proven track records of building new pharmaceuticals, medical devices, molecular diagnostics and population-health solutions to support entrepreneurs with deep industry knowledge.
With the April 17 ribbon-cutting came the announcement of a $2 million grant from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation to advance startup operations, facilities and programming.
Idea Foundry Launches Equitable Entrepreneurship Program
Google.org Impact Challenge Pittsburgh winning program offers business development support and funding to communities that have historically been undeserved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem
(PGH – 2/22/2018) The Equitable Entrepreneurship program is an initiative from Idea Foundry supporting immigrant and minority entrepreneurs and small business owners in our region. The program seeks participants with an idea for a small business, an existing small business looking to scale, or an idea-stage innovation. Applicants are not limited to innovation-based businesses. Our program emphasizes region-wide opportunities not limited or focused on any one neighborhood.
Pitt, UPMC Announce $200 Million Immunotherapy Investment, Creation of Innovation Facility at 5000 Baum
The new UPMC Immune Transplant and Therapy Center (ITTC) will be housed within an eight-story innovation hub, built in partnership with Wexford Science + Technology
Backed by decades of pioneering research at Pitt, UPMC’s initial three-year, $200 Million funding commitment for ITTC seeks to dramatically accelerate the pace at which medical teams can utilize new research. This investment will help pinpoint the most promising advances in immunology that are capable of enhancing human health. The center’s work will initially focus on three major areas: transplantation, cancer, and aging and chronic diseases.
5000 Baum, built by Ford Motor Co. in 1915, is a 200,000-square-foot facility that functioned as part-assembly plant, part-showroom.The property represents Pitt’s largest development project to date aimed at strengthening the city’s innovation district. The renovation—which is projected to take more than two years—is expected to create thousands of local jobs.
Third Annual Inclusive Innovation Week Set for April 2-8, 2018
The City of Pittsburgh, URA and Inclusive Innovation Week partners invite all residents and visitors to attend events throughout the week
(PGH – 2/13/2018) Now in its third year, Inclusive Innovation Week (IIW) is a citywide initiative dedicated to providing equal access to the products, services and people needed to solve complex challenges through the infusion of new ideas, people, and technology. Led by the Department of Innovation & Performance, IIW programming is designed to increase awareness of opportunities across the city, encourages cross-sector collaboration and serves as an interactive demonstration of Mayor William Peduto’s commitment to making Pittsburgh a city for all.
Inclusive Innovation Week 2018 will activate neighborhoods with programming and engage businesses, organizations and individuals through larger campaigns and collaborative events. Many events and partnerships created through the Inclusive Innovation Pittsburgh Meetups. Learn more about the planning process and the work of the team on Medium.
New Oakland-based partnership focused on building Pittsburgh’s Innovation Economy
InnovatePGH will drive citywide growth in life sciences, automation and advanced manufacturing
(PGH – 2/6/2018) In a bold move positioning Pittsburgh as a global innovation hub, regional leaders today announced the formation of InnovatePGH, a public-private partnership conceived to accelerate Pittsburgh’s growth as a global destination for technology-based economic activity.
InnovatePGH was born from the 2017 Brookings Institution study: “Capturing the next economy: Pittsburgh’s rise as a global innovation city,” which was funded by the Heinz Endowments and the Hillman Foundation. Formed to implement key recommendations from the Brookings report, InnovatePGH will be situated in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood, enabling it to draw upon the valuable resources of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, two of the nation’s top flight research institutions, and UPMC's substantial intellectual capital.
Murdoch Building Breaks Ground on Forbes Avenue
There’s a new structure about to go up in Oakland, but it’s not another medical center or fast food joint.
(From Next Pittsburgh – 1/31/2018) "Today, workers will break ground on the Murdoch Building. This eight-story, 95,000-square-foot office and retail space is located at 3420 Forbes Avenue, on the corner of Forbes and Coltart avenues.
Slated to open in the third quarter of 2019, the planned building has only 35,000 square feet of office space currently remaining for rental. Two tenants have already locked in a large portion of the building: The University of Pittsburgh has leased the top four floors and CVS Pharmacy will occupy a portion of the ground-level retail area.
Amazon Announces Pittsburgh Makes the List
PGHQ2 Partnership Will Lead Regional Effort Moving Forward
(PGH – 1/18/2018) Amazon has announced today that the Pittsburgh region is on its list of 20 locations that will continue in the selection process. The Pittsburgh proposal, Future. Forged. For All., stood out as a top submission from the 238 proposals Amazon received through its RFP.
As the region continues in this process, PGHQ2 – the collaborative partnership developed to coordinate the efforts of all local jurisdictions, businesses, universities and foundations that have volunteered their support for the project – will serve as the Amazon welcome committee and the company’s dedicated partner, ensuring a soft landing and support for long-term success should Pittsburgh be selected as the location for Amazon’s HQ2.
Pitt Introduces LifeX™ to Develop New Solutions for Large Unmet Health Needs
Renowned entrepreneur Dietrich Stephan, PhD, to lead delivery of first-in-class products into the market in this collaboration between life sciences startups and private sector
(PGH – 12/11/2017) The University of Pittsburgh today announced the launch of LifeX™, an initiative that will provide expertise, capital and working space to new companies addressing the most complex challenges facing modern medicine.
The 10-year goal of the project is to deliver new solutions to tackle prevalent and intractable global diseases. Led by Dietrich Stephan, PhD, the renowned human geneticist and entrepreneur, the initiative’s initial focus will be on cancer, Alzheimer’s, multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, obesity and diabetes and rare genetic diseases.
UPMC Announces $2B Investment to Build 3 Digitally Based Specialty Hospitals Backed by World-Leading Innovative, Translational Science
New patient-focused cancer, heart and transplant, vision and rehabilitation hospitals augment mental health, pediatric and women’s specialty care
(PGH – 11/3/2017) UPMC today announced a bold plan to transform patient care with three leading-edge, new specialty hospitals that will offer next-generation treatments in patient-focused, technology-enhanced settings unique to health care. Backed by a $2 billion investment from UPMC, the all-new UPMC Heart and Transplant Hospital, UPMC Hillman Cancer Hospital and UPMC Vision and Rehabilitation Hospital will add to UPMC’s complement of advanced specialty care at Magee-Womens Hospital, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Future of Manufacturing To Rise Within Abandoned Steel Mill
New home for advanced robotics manufacturing research and development will lead transformation of industry, new chapter in Pittsburgh renaissance
(PGH – 10/25/2017) Two major advanced manufacturing initiatives founded by Carnegie Mellon University will anchor the redevelopment of an iconic, abandoned steel mill in Pittsburgh's Hazelwood neighborhood, signaling a new era in manufacturing for America and the world, and a new chapter in Pittsburgh's resurgence as a global innovation leader.
As part of an agreement between Carnegie Mellon and the nonprofit Regional Industrial Development Corporation, the university has agreed to a lease for two floors, or approximately two-thirds, of a new 94,000-square-foot building. The new building will be constructed entirely within the enormous skeleton of the historic steel mill known as Mill 19, located on the Hazelwood Green development site.
Cross-sector support needed to further Pittsburgh’s innovation economy
Brookings report offers recommendations for global competitiveness and local
inclusion for the Pittsburgh innovation district
(WAS – 9/13/2017) – Pittsburgh’s innovation economy is strong and growing, but city leaders can do more with its existing assets to compete globally and capitalize on the region’s growing innovation clusters, according to a new report from the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking at the Brookings Institution.
The culmination of an 18-month study, “Capturing the Next Economy: Pittsburgh’s rise as a global innovation city” examines Pittsburgh's unique opportunity to become a top global destination for technology-based economic activity and as a key part of Pittsburgh’s efforts to become a world-class innovation city.