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PRA Post is the Pittsburgh Region’s Economic Development Newsletter

June 2017

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Pittsburgh’s Poised to Become Life Sciences Powerhouse

Pittsburgh’s prowess in life sciences was on display during Pittsburgh Life Sciences Week. Celebrated on May 22-26, the week-long series of innovation forums presented by the University of Pittsburgh brought together a diverse mix of life sciences groups – researchers, entrepreneurs, large corporations and investors – to connect and discuss current successes and emerging topics in this sector, and there was a lot to talk about.

In 2016, the region’s healthcare and life sciences sector has experienced the largest capital investment since 2011: $150 million. And, with the sector contributing nearly 10 percent of GDP in our region and employing some 133,000 people, Pittsburgh is poised to become a national powerhouse in life sciences. A number of domestic and foreign owned firms are investing in the region, and just last year there were 18 new healthcare and life sciences deals, accounting for 2,983 anticipated new jobs in southwestern Pennsylvania. New investment in the sector is supported by a robust network of incubators, R&D centers and universities – including the University of Pittsburgh, which receives over $700 million in NIH funding annually and ranks fifth among universities nationally. The region is working collaboratively to leverage this success and build greater partnerships that will accelerate innovation, life-changing technologies and economic growth.

Learn more about the region’s health care and life sciences opportunity.

Recent Life Sciences News:

Life Sciences Firm, Carmell Therapeutics, Expands in 6,300 SF, Moves Manufacturing Headquarters to Pittsburgh’s South Side
“Carmell Therapeutics, a Pittsburgh-based life sciences firm that spun out of Carnegie Mellon University, is moving its headquarters and manufacturing operations, expanding into 6,300-square-feet of new space in the South Side.” Read more

Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse Closes on $5.2 Million Accelerator Fund II
“Taking the lead in the region for raising life sciences venture capital, the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse announced the closing of its second life sciences venture capital fund, Accelerator Fund II, at $5.2 million.” Read more

New Investment Fund is Targeting Drug Development at the University of Pittsburgh
“University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher’s efforts to hotwire the region’s fledgling life sciences industry is getting a spark from a new seed capital fund, The Pittsburgh Revolution Fund, targeted to helping develop new medications.” Read more

National Institute of Mental Health Awards Carnegie Mellon University $7 Million for Autism Genetics Research
“A team of researchers from various institutions, including some from Carnegie Mellon, working on an Autism Sequencing Consortium project has been awarded funding from the National Institute of Mental Health to continue their work through 2022.” Read more

University of Pittsburgh to Partner with Philips to Turn More Patents into Products
“The University of Pittsburgh is partnering with Philips, a Dutch company with regional offices, to try to steer more Pitt research from labs to commercial markets.” Read more

Helomics Corporation and the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse Partner to Establish a Biotechnology Incubator
“Privately-held healthcare company, Helomics Helomics, is partnering with the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse to form an incubator dedicated to diagnostics and precision medicine. The facility will be housed at Helomics’ headquarters in Lawrenceville.” Read more

Study Explores City’s Synergy Between Life Sciences Academia, Startup Companies
“Pittsburgh has everything it needs – academic and research strengths, labs and office space for fledgling companies, and strong ties between academia and private industry – to make Pittsburgh a life sciences powerhouse and become a thriving center for life sciences startup companies.” Read more

Life Sciences could be Bigger than Energy in Western Pennsylvania
“Pittsburgh’s 20- to 30-year head start over other parts of the country in building an economy based on medical, pharmaceutical and related products and services could easily make Life sciences’ economic value comparable to energy production in Western Pennsylvania.” Read more

Pittsburgh at the Forefront of the Brain Revolution
“Pittsburgh has become a battleground in the fight against the devastating illness, thanks to the decade-long quest of two Pittsburgh researchers whose work is on track to change the face of medicine and affect millions worldwide.” Read more

More Economic Development News

Adams Manufacturing Expands, Acquires New Facility in Ellwood City
“Butler County-based Adams Manufacturing has acquired the former Heraeus Electro-Nite factory. The structure will be Adams’ third Ellwood City location.” Read more

RoadRunner Picks One PPG for Headquarters, Begins Relocation from NYC
“RoadRunner Recycling is relocating its headquarters from New York to Pittsburgh, moving its employees and planning to hire 40 to 50.” Read more

Oberg Expands, Acquires Local Manufacturer
“Oberg Industries Inc. – which manufactures precision metal components, tooling and stamping assemblies – has acquired Boyle Industries Inc.” Read more

Saia Inc. Opens Six-Acre, 20,000 SF Freight Terminal in Washington County
“Saia Inc. has opened a six-acre, 20,000-square-foot freight terminal, the Saia LTL Freight Terminal, in Washington County which includes 32 doors and will house 23 employees.” Read more

Aurora Innovation Joins Self-Driving Car Ecosystem, Opens Pittsburgh Office
“Another self-driving car company, Aurora Innovation, has rolled into Pittsburgh. It’s headed by autonomous driving veterans and leaders from three undisputed heavyweights in the field: Tesla, Google and Uber.” Read more

Ohio Architecture Firm Opens Pittsburgh Office
“Cincinnati-based BHDP Architecture – offering services in architecture, planning, interior design, project management and others – announced it has opened a new office in Pittsburgh.” Read more

New York-Based Industrious Opens Coworking Office Space in Downtown Pittsburgh
“Brooklyn-based Industrious has set up coworking space in One PPG Place. Its sparkling, glass-walled design makes it one of downtown Pittsburgh’s most distinctive office spaces.” Read more

Wow Air Markets Flights — Through Iceland — from Pittsburgh to Tel Aviv
“European discount airline Wow Air — which begins flights between Pittsburgh and Reykjavik in June — announced plans to fly to Tel Aviv and Israel later this year.” Read more

Spirit Airlines Arrives at Pittsburgh International Airport
“The newest airline to arrive at Pittsburgh International Airport, Spirit Airlines, brings ultra-low fares to seven destinations, including its service to Dallas-Fort Worth and Myrtle Beach.” Read more

General Electric’s Findlay Advanced Technology Center Expands Focus
“General Electric’s $39 million Center for Additive Technology Advancement in Findlay Township will expand, adding new additive manufacturing technology from its subsidiaries.” Read more

New, $19 Million, Eight-Story Office Building Planned for Oakland
“Murland Associates Limited Partnership is proposing to build a new eight-story building featuring seven floors of offices and street-level retail in the lot at Forbes and Coltart avenues in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood. Read more

Chicago-Based Developer, M.J. Wilkow, Plans $7 Million Overhaul of the 158,000 SF Former Art Institute Building
“Chicago-based M&J Wilkow Ltd. plans to convert the former, 185,000-square-foot Art Institute of Pittsburgh building in downtown Pittsburgh back to its original use as an office address.” Read more

Downtown Pittsburgh Improves Pedestrian Path in Gateway Center
“Envision Downtown – an effort of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership to improve traffic and pedestrian movement – is encouraging more pedestrian traffic between Market Square and Point State Park with new crosswalks.” Read more

Henry L. Hillman’s $800 Million Fortune Will Largely Benefit Pittsburgh
“The honorable, late Henry L. Hillman’s estimated $800 million fortune is set to be distributed among 14 philanthropies maintained by the Hillman family — with the vast majority of the money targeted for the fund that supports initiatives in southwestern Pennsylvania.” Read more

$26.5M in State Funding Awarded to Support Railroad Projects in Southwestern Pennsylvania
“Projects in Allegheny and Washington counties will receive a total of $26.5 million in state funding.” Read more

Pittsburgh International Airport Invests $3 Million in Startup OneJet
“Pittsburgh International Airport and Allegheny County officials have invested $3 million in a small startup airline, OneJet, to persuade the carrier to base its operations in Pittsburgh and add 10 regional flights on its seven-seat jets.” Read more

Co-Working Company, Coterie Co., Receives $1.2 Million Funding
“Coterie Co., a female-focused co-working space that has a Pittsburgh location in the Frick Building, has raised $1.25 million in seed funding.” Read more

Southwestern Pennsylvania Communities Get Nearly $1 Million in State Funding for Revitalization Projects
“Pittsburgh, Allegheny and Fayette County communities will receive a total of nearly $1 million in state funding to boost community revitalization efforts.” Read more

EPA Gives $600,000 to Help Clean up Westmoreland Brownfields
“The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Westmoreland is receiving a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help assess brownfield sites for cleanup and development.” Read more

University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering Receives $425,000 National Science Foundation Award
“Thanks to National Science Foundation’s generous, three-year, $425,000 grant, the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering will once again be able to better prepare undergraduates for academia, research and industry through its 10-week summer research program.” Read more

Astrobotic, Carnegie Mellon University Receive Funds in Partnership to Build Tiny CubeRover for NASA
“Astrobotic and Carnegie Mellon University will team up with the support of $125,000 in funds, to develop a new, small rover for NASA that could revolutionize science and exploration missions on the moon, Mars and elsewhere in the solar system.” Read more

Fay-Penn Economic Development Council Announces Funding of Two Small Business Development Projects
“Fay-Penn Economic Development Council’s Small Business Loan Fund announced two loans to local small businesses, Balk Squirrel Outings and Fay-West Glass, totaling $85,000.” Read more

Philadelphia Magazine Reports: Pittsburgh’s the Pennsylvania City Poised to Crush the 21st Century
Philadelphia Magazine features Pittsburgh and its ability to position itself as a tech and innovation power player in Pennsylvania.” Read more

Pittsburgh is “Next Top Tech Town Shaking up Silicon Valley”
“Companies like Google, Intel, Germany-based SAP and the virtual reality headset provider Oculus setting up offices here plus recent investments in autonomous vehicles is proof that Pittsburgh is the next tech superhub.” Read more

Pittsburgh Named ‘NextTech’ City
“According to a Tech Markets report by MetLife Investment Management, Pittsburgh is among four cities identified as the next-generation technology hubs, growing beyond the traditional hubs of Boston and San Francisco.” Read more

Pittsburgh Tops List of Inc. Magazine’s “Six Best Cities to Start a Business”
“Pittsburgh is now home to some of the most progressive companies in the nation and its unprecedented revitalization and growth as an innovation hub is why it lands the No. 1 spot on Inc. Magazine’s ‘Best Cities to Start a Business’ list.” Read more

Pittsburgh at Center of Race to Create Components for Self-Driving Cars
“In Pitts­burgh, a neu­ro­cen­ter for au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cle tech­nol­ogy is emerging. Uber’s self-driv­ing ef­forts here are part of a crowd that in­cludes Ford and its $1 bil­lion investment in Strip Dis­trict-based ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence startup, Argo AI; an emerg­ing startup called Aurora In­no­va­tion led by for­mer em­ploy­ees of Te­sla, Google and Uber; and tech com­pany Del­phi.” Read more

Delphi Partners with BMW to Create Self-Driving Platform by 2021
“Of the players involved in Pittsburgh’s autonomous vehicles landscape, United Kingdom-based technology company Delphi is gaining new attention with its recent partnership with BMW, Intel and Mobiley.” Read more

Pittsburgh Lands Second Spot on List of “25 Best Cities in the US for People Under the Age of 35”
“Pittsburgh is a choice destination among millennials due to its cost of living and public transportation options.” Read more

Pittsburgh among Best University Cities of 2017
“If you want to know what the best universities in the world are – a vital consideration for would-be students when choosing where they should apply – look to Pittsburgh” Read more

Richmond Draws Lessons, Strengths from Pittsburgh’s Emergence and Transformation
“The story of Pittsburgh’s industrial collapse and its subsequent rebirth as a hip hub of higher education, health care and tech jobs has caught the eye of Richmond Virginia’s City Chamber and Council.” Read more

Pittsburgh International Airport Becomes First Airport to Partner with Silicon Valley Tech Innovator
“Pittsburgh International Airport is now at the forefront of technology thanks to a newly formed partnership with Silicon Valley-based tech innovator Plug and Play. The partnership will help improve passenger experience and cost efficiencies using technology solutions.” Read more

Pittsburgh International Airport Has Biggest Monthly Passenger Increase Since 2011
“Pittsburgh International Airport in April recorded its largest monthly jump in passenger traffic since 2011, at 11.2 percent, according to an airport news release.” Read more

Carnegie Mellon among 25 Universities Producing the Most Tech Employees
“Recruiting company, HiredSolved, measured the volume of hires made by tech companies and named Carnegie Mellon University among 25 universities that are producing the most tech employees.” Read more

Pittsburgh Startup, Small Change, Named a 2017 Global Urban Innovator
“Pittsburgh-based startup Small Change – a real estate equity crowdfunding portal that helps communities identify and deliver high-impact urban development – is among eight young enterprises from around the world that have been recognized by the NewCities Foundation as 2017 Global Urban Innovators.” Read more

Manufacturing Assistance Center Brings New Opportunities to Homewood and Beyond
“Residents of Homewood and other communities now have direct access to valuable career training with the relocation of University of Pittsburgh’s new Manufacturing Assistance Center to the new 150,000-square-foot building at 7800 Susquehanna Street.” Read more

Pennsylvania — and Ohio — Lead in Gas Production Increases in 2016
“Appalachia continues to see the highest increases in production among states with natural gas in 2016. Data released Tuesday by the Energy Information Administration showed a 1.2 billion cubic feet per day rise in natural gas production in Pennsylvania and Ohio between 2015 and 2016.” Read more

Pipeline Projects Across Marcellus and Utica Plays Continue To Power Forward
“There are dozens of major pipeline projects in the works at any one time in the Marcellus natural gas region. These projects represent a growing export market, billions of dollars of investments, thousands of, well-paying jobs and more.” Read more

Utica Shale Adds Another Rig while Marcellus Remains Steady
“Drilling activity is building in the Utica Shale, with another rig starting work last week even as the Marcellus drilling remained at the same level as it has since the beginning of the year.” Read more

Pittsburgh 2030 District is Dominating North America and Growing
“The results are in: the Pittsburgh 2030 District – which exists to reduce energy use, water consumption and CO2 emissions by 50 percent by the year 2030 – is outstripping the competition.” Read more



Companies are investing and growing in the Pittsburgh region and creating opportunity for top talent, including for the positions below:

Go to to check out more jobs, learn about the region’s employers and industries and explore the region’s great live, play, and learn options.





June 1-302017 ATHENA Nominations Are Open
The ATHENA Awards Program of Greater Pittsburgh distinguishes itself from other regional awards through its emphasis on women mentoring other women and girls. Two recognitions are presented at its annual fall luncheon: the traditional ATHENA Award, celebrating women who demonstrate excellence in their profession, contribute to their community and mentor other women; and the ATHENA Young Professional Award, highlighting a woman age 35 or younger who dedicates her time and talent to helping other women and girls to thrive. Nominate someone today. Applications are due June 30th.


June 6-27 – Imagine Transportation 2.0 Work Session on the Future of Transportation in the 10-County Pittsburgh Region
On behalf of the Regional Transportation Alliance of Southwestern Pennsylvania (RTA), a 10-county public-private partnership staffed by the Allegheny Conference, you’re invited to special work sessions on the future of transportation in our region. The Allegheny Conference is convening business and community leaders, policymakers and economic development practitioners in each of the 10 counties of southwestern Pennsylvania to discuss the findings of Imagine Transportation 2.0 and how it can be used to improve the region and advance local opportunities. Please register for the following scheduled sessions to participate:


June 7Virtual Hire Up Job Fair
Join the Pittsburgh Technology Council for its first Virtual Hire Up Job Fair. This event is designed to replicate an in-person career fair without the logistical challenges a regular job fair presents. Job seekers can connect and meet with companies from the comfort and security of the location of their choosing. Held from 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., cost to participate as an employer is $399 for member companies and $599 for non-member companies. Job seekers, click here to register free. For any questions please contact Jill Huber at


June 9Chatham’s Women’s Breakfast Leader Series: Carving Out a Brand in the Food Industry
Chatham University’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship presents the Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series features prominent regional women business leaders speaking on a variety of progressive business topics. This month’s topic is “Carving Out a Brand in the Food Industry” and features guest speakers Torie Day, CEO and executive chef of Day La Soul Catering; Terri Dowd, VP Wythu, executive producer/co-host Between the Eats and CEO of Parmesan Princess; and Michele Meloy Burchfield, co-founder and CEO of Blume Honey Water. These women business owners have built brands in the food industry and will share lessons learned from their experiences and tips for business owners looking to make a name for themselves. Held at the James Laughlin Music Hall from 8:00 – 9:30 a.m. Cost to attend is $25. Non-Chatham students and veterans pay $12 with valid student ID.


June 10TechFest 2017
Pittsburgh TechFest is a one-day event on where software development professionals from southwestern Pennsylvania and surrounding areas will get together to talk and learn about perfecting our craft. Topics will include coding, tools, agile, project management, etc. All development disciplines (devs, testers, PMs, DBAs, BAs etc.) and all development stacks (Ruby, Java, .Net, JavaScript, Python, SQL Server, Oracle, etc.) are welcome! For more information, visit Please contact Carolyn Candebat for sponsorship information. Held at the LaRoche College – Zappala College Center from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., registration will open mid-April.


June 14Corridors of Opportunity: Northside
Join the Pittsburgh Business Times and hear from expert panelists about the current and future business developments along one of Pittsburgh’s hottest areas, the Northside. Panelists include Jeremy Kronman, executive vice president, CBRE; Barry Ford, president of development, Continental Real Estate; and Mark Fatla, executive director, Northside Leadership Conference. Be sure to bring your business cards for the great networking prior to the event. Held at the Rivers Casino from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.; cost to attend is $65 per individual, $995 for a table of 10.


June 14Accessing Capital Workshop
The African American Chamber of Commerce invites you to attend a workshop on accessing capital featuring Neal Shipley, CEO of Capital Foundry. Topics discussed include working capital management, non-dilutive capital and other nontraditional capital options. If you are a small business owner who has been unable to obtain traditional bank financing, this workshop is for you. Held at the Koppers Building from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., cost to attend is $10 for members, $20 for non-members. You must RSVP by June 12 at 412-392-0610 or


June 13PVCA Luncheon: Intellectual Property Strategy
Join the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association for a luncheon on intellectual property strategy. Learn how emerging companies can exploit the tremendous value of patents without wasting resources and how to synch your patent strategy with your business strategy. The luncheon will feature Brandon Bludau of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP. He’ll moderate a distinguished panel of attorneys and venture capital investors including Larry Miller of Innovation Works, David Oberdick of Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP, and Jeffrey Totten of Finnegan. Held at Fairmont Pittsburgh from 11:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., cost to attend is $55 for members, $115 for non-members.


June 15NAIOP Chapter Meeting
Join NAIOP Pittsburgh for its monthly chapter meeting, held at the Omni William Penn Hotel beginning at 7:30 a.m. For non-members, cost to attend is $40. RSVP online at or Call 412-928-8303.


June 23PowerBreakfast Meeting
Join the African American Chamber of Commerce as it welcomes its corporate sponsor and President of Dollar Bank, James J. McQuade. Mr. McQuade will present an overview of the financial institution and their commitment to small business. Held at the One Oxford Centre from 7:30 – 9:00 a.m., cost to attend is $20 for members, $30 for non-members. RSVP by June 21.


June 27PAACC’s Breakfast Briefing
Presented by the Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber of Commerce. Attend a breakfast briefing on the topic “The Nexus Between Energy, Opportunity & Jobs: Pipelines.” Panelists include Jim Kunz, Jr., business manager at the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 66 and more. Held at the Pittsburgh Airport Marriot from 7:30 – 9:30 a.m., cost to attend is $30 for members, $55 for non-members.


June 29Huntington Breakfast Briefing: President UPMC Enterprises
The Pittsburgh Technology Council is pleased to present C. Talbot Heppenstall, Jr. president of UPMC Enterprises and executive vice president and treasurer of UPMC, for this month’s Huntington Breakfast Briefing. Mr. Heppenstall will discuss the role that UPMC Enterprises plays in tackling some of the nation’s greatest health care changes. He will also discuss strategies to support individuals and teams with business plans, but no formal infrastructure; accelerate the success of early-stage companies; engage with national venture funds that are seeking additional participation in an existing company or partnership; and partner with established companies that are seeking joint ventures, co-development partnerships or growth capital. Held at at the Rivers Club from 7:00 – 9:15 a.m., cost to attend is $55 for members, $175 for non-members. After June 23, cost to attend is $60 for members, $185 for non-members.


July 13Huntington Breakfast Briefing: President & CEO ANSYS
The Pittsburgh Technology Council is pleased to present Ajei Gopal, president and CEO of ANSYS, at its Huntington Breakfast Briefing. Ajei will examine how ANSYS, headquartered in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, became a global leader in simulation software. Anyone interested in technology innovation., join colleagues for breakfast and networking while you learn more about new possibilities. Held at the Rivers Club from 7:00 – 9:15 a.m.; cost to attend is $55 for members, $175 for non-members. After July 7, cost to attend is $60 for members, $185 for non-members.


July 19Bike Tour of Hazelwood’s Almono Site
Presented by the Green Building Alliance. Grab your bike for a cool summer ride along the Almono Site in Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood neighborhood. Rebecca Flora of ReMake Group and Almono’s Project Director will lead the group, providing insight into Almono’s sustainability goals and a few highlights of the site: the Mill 19 building, the Pump House, and the Round House. The bike ride will be about 3 miles in length. If biking isn’t your style, an alternate walking tour will also be available with a reduced 1.5-mile route. Food and drinks will be included. Stay tuned for more details about registration, price, learning objectives and other specifics. In the meantime, learn more about the Almono Site here.