PA as an Innovation Leader: Challenges and Solutions in the face of a Growing Industry  

Pennsylvania legislators are working on new ways to retain young residents who too often leave the region for opportunities after receiving their education within the state. The Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee recently held a public hearing regarding “PA as an Innovation Leader”. 

During the hearing, a new proposal that includes offering $5,000 scholarships to college students who agree to stay in Pennsylvania, and providing in-state tuition rates to out-of-state students who choose to do the same was highlighted. Scott Nissenbaum, president and CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners in Philadelphia, also pitched legislators to support an $80 million tech hub proposal that could help position Philadelphia similarly to Silicon Valley in terms of entrepreneurial and scientific innovation.   

John Swartley, PhD, Chief Innovation Officer at Penn, provided testimony and offered his thoughts on the opportunities and challenges Pennsylvania faces with its growing life sciences industry.  

“In spite of success, the path from academic research to commercial success and society impact continues to be fraught with significant hurdles and challenges,” said Swartley. “The gap between early and promising research findings, and the many different steps and investments required to ensure their full development to market ready projects — that continues to be a significant barrier to establishing [the full range of] academic-industrial partnerships.”  Read more here: 

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