The Corbett Administration, together with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Regional Bioscience Initiative (NEPA RBI), announced today the award of a $305,000 Discovered in PA, Developed in PA (D2PA) grant and a $187,000 grant from the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA) in conjunction with the Keystone Innovation Network (KIN)-program. State and local governmental officials, economic development professionals, representatives from higher education and private industry gathered at the Innovation Center on the campus of East Stroudsburg University to make the announcement.
‚??Job growth is a top priority of the Governor and initiatives like this are a critical part of Pennsylvania‚??s long-term economic success,‚?Ě said Sheri Collins, executive director, Technology Investment Office, PA Department of Community and Economic Development. ‚??The Corbett administration is committed to supporting ideas like the NEPA Regional Bioscience Initiative that will lead to new, high wage jobs for Pennsylvanians.‚?Ě
The NEPA RBI is a collaboration, based upon the conclusions of Angelou Economics that Northeastern Pennsylvania has the Bioscience resources of regional educational institutions and private sector industries to grow bioscience industry jobs. The NEPA RBI territory includes the following counties: Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming. Grant funds received will be used to aggregate and communicate the region‚??s Intellectual Assets in a web enabled database, coordinate the resources through specific Roundtable Teams and facilitate bioscience knowledge, industry employments through growth of our existing Bioscience firms and the recruiting of new Bioscience businesses.
I am delighted and very encouraged to join the business, academic and economic development leaders of our region to witness the announcement of the Northeast Pennsylvania Regional Bioscience Initiative (NEPA RBI) strategic plan. Our region boasts a great inventory of bioscience assets, notably enhanced by The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC), and we have great potential to cultivate and attract research funding and skills to the region. I am glad to see DCED support for this effort and look forward to its success, said Senator John P. Blake.
‚??We have a unique opportunity here in northeastern Pennsylvania to capitalize on our many intellectual resources and our geographic proximity to major metropolitan areas in developing an effective and productive Bioscience region,‚?Ě said John P. Wiercinski, NEPA RBI Board Member and Regional VP for Geisinger Health System. ‚??The success of this initiative can pay dividends for decades to come.‚?Ě
The NEPA RBI areas of focus include linking college and university research and development programs; expansion of career awareness, education and training; workforce attraction and retention; further development of entrepreneurial support systems, real estate availability and business outreach.
‚??The Northeastern Pennsylvania Regional Bioscience Initiative is a true regional collaboration, leveraging the strengths of our regional players to grow the biosciences in the 8-county region. Similar to the development of the Knowledge Industry Sectors in 2000, the RBI will be using this platform to leverage the growth of our area into a dynamic healthcare and bioscience-based economy,‚?Ě said William Scranton, III, Co-Chair, Northeastern Pennsylvania Regional Bioscience Initiative.
‚??It is undeniable that our northeastern region has a wealth of diverse bioscience resources. The Northeastern Pennsylvania Regional Bioscience Initiative will greatly enhance the sharing of information and coordination of our regional resources,‚?Ě said Jerry Musheno, Vice President, Project /Program Administration, Maximus.
The D2PA program was established by the Corbett Administration to build capacity to better support Pennsylvania businesses and to spur creativity and innovation in the provision of economic development services, from business incubating to mentoring to marketing and beyond. For more information on the D2PA program or other economic development initiatives in Pennsylvania, visit www.newPA.com.
The KIN provides funding that will enhance our region‚??s research capacity by engaging faculty members from our institutions of higher education, college students and bioscience companies.