PCI Year in Review FY2023

Accomplishments and Highlights

A Message from the Managing Director

I’m very pleased to welcome you to PCI’s FY23 Year in Review! This past fiscal year at Penn and PCI we experienced sustained momentum across the innovation ecosystem and a rapid return to post-pandemic norms. For the Second Year in a Row Penn reported the highest amount of gross licensing revenue among its institutional peers and, despite an uncertain economic environment for startup creation, affiliated startups raised or received over $1B in new investment capital, a new high-water mark at Penn. The strength of these commercialization activities is a leading indicator of the world-class innovation and exceptional science pursued by Penn’s faculty and research community. The positive translation of these scientific and technical breakthroughs into new products and services in collaboration with our many valued partners in the private sector is having a profound and positive impact on the global population.

Inside this report you will learn more about the many ways that PCI helps to catalyze commercial activity and translational impact across different technology sectors at Penn; further extending and expanding Penn’s prodigious global innovation impact and reach. There is no better example of this virtuous continuum than the Nobel Prize winning mRNA-based discoveries made by Dr. Drew Weissman and Dr. Katalin Karikó. The entire Penn community applauds and congratulates these two visionary inventors on their singular and well-deserved achievement! Dr. Karikó and Dr. Weissman’s fundamental breakthrough paved the way for an entirely new approach to the design and manufacture of mRNA-based vaccines and other therapeutic modalities. The nearly two-decade path from their Nobel prize winning discovery to pandemic-busting COVID-19 vaccines involved many different partners and key contributors, and PCI is proud to have played an important role in the successful translation of this foundational technology platform that continues to change the face of medicine and provides invaluable benefits to humanity.

The stories and details highlighted in this report are a direct result of the incredibly hard work of the PCI staff and I express my profound gratitude to our entire team.  Sincere thanks as well to our outstanding clients and collaborators, and the consistent support and partnership we receive and gratefully acknowledge from Penn’s executive leadership and the board of trustees.  And, of course, none of these accomplishments or successes would have been possible without the incredible ideas, discoveries and inventions generated every day by the faculty and other innovators across Penn – they are truly our most valued partners!

John S. Swartley, MBA, PhD
Associate Vice Provost and Managing Director of the Penn Center for Innovation

Major Accomplishments


Penn Ranked #1 Nationally for Licensing Income (AUTM)

Over $1.2 Billion

Raised or Received by Penn-affiliated Startups

>1 Billion

Individuals and Patients Benefiting from Penn Discoveries


Number of Philadelphia Cell and Gene Therapy Jobs More Than Doubled in Less Than Three Years (Econsult)

Over 100 startups

Spun Out Over the Past 5 Years


Philadelphia Ranks Second in New Study Comparing U.S. Cell and Gene Therapy Hubs (GPCC/Econsult)

Stats and Stories

Commercializing Innovation

Connecting Innovation


Press mentions for PCI programs, startups and partners

Accelerating Innovation

Our Past Reports

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