Philadelphia’s top universities backing new tech innovation

Innovation isn’t limited to Philadelphia’s CBD, either. Major research institutions in New Jersey and the Lehigh Valley are connecting research to economic development as well.

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Mar 2, 2017, 5:05 PM

As regional demand grows for mixed-use space that provides lab, coworking and traditional layouts all under one roof, Philadelphia’s higher education institutions are coming back into focus.

University City

In University City, Drexel University and its development partner Brandywine Realty Trust are preparing to kick off Schuylkill Yards, a planned 12-acre innovation neighborhood directly adjacent to 30th Street Station.

Last year, the University of Pennsylvania opened the 58,000-square-foot Pennovation Center, offering affordable lab and coworking space to new startups from the university and tech community. Already it’s attracted big-name tenants like Qualcomm Research (a division of the San Diego telecom equipment company) and Hershey's Advanced Technology & Foresight Lab.

Innovation isn’t limited to Philadelphia’s CBD, either. Major research institutions in New Jersey and the Lehigh Valley are connecting research to economic development as well.

New Jersey

A proposed 270,000-square-foot expansion of the South Jersey Technology Park at Rowan University will create a startup incubator that provides companies with access to VC investors and state tax incentives. The mixed-use space is expected to deliver at some point in Q1 2017.

Lehigh Valley

In Lehigh Valley, a 19,685-square-foot expansion of the existing Ben Franklin TechVentures space will have the capacity to host ten startups. TechVentures’ services include tech support for growing manufacturing companies, investment and finance expertise for early-stage startups, and the tax benefits of being located in a Keystone Innovation Zone.


Research and author: Gina Lavery | Editor: Michael Cronin