The Pittsburgh Central Keystone Innovation Zone (PCKIZ) proposal, led by Duquesne University and the Hill House Economic Development Corp., received state approval today and a $237,300 grant to support operations.
The Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority established the new PCKIZ, which is designed to generate job growth in technology areas such as medical devices, tissue engineering, drug discovery, pharmaceutics, compliance engineering, digital media, record management, software, cyber security and nanotechnology.
“We’re extremely excited about this opportunity to positively impact the area’s economic growth,” said Dr. Charles J. Dougherty, Duquesne University president. “This presents a welcome opportunity to further involve Duquesne and our business, community and educational partners in training a skilled, local workforce and assisting startups.”
“This approval culminates almost two years of work—hard work—by the University and its Small Business Development Center headed by Dr. Mary McKinney, the Hill House Economic Development Corp., and Dr. Alan Seadler,” said Steve Schillo, who lead the initial effort on Duquesne’s behalf.
The geographic area covered by the PCKIZ spans Pittsburgh’s North Side, Downtown and South Side, including Uptown and the Hill District. Through tax incentives and support services, the PCKIZ will serve entrepreneurs with start-up technology businesses and those with fledgling businesses poised to grow. Included in the proposal are plans for a business incubator with significant laboratory space convenient to research-quality libraries and other resources.
Additional partners in the PCKIZ are the Allegheny Conference, Allegheny County, Carlow University, City of Pittsburgh, Community College of Allegheny County, Heinz Endowments, Innovation Works, Manchester Bidwell Corp., Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, Pittsburgh Technology Council, PNC Bank, Point Park University, UPMC Health Plan, and R.K. Mellon Foundation.
“With support for this new initiative, the PCKIZ will be able to provide much-needed high-tech tools and spaces to startups and young companies,” said Seadler, the Edward V. Fritzky Chair in Biotechnology Leadership and director of the Center for Biotechnology at Duquesne. “We can’t wait to begin.”