Working in Partnership to Tell Pittsburgh’s Energy Story in London

by on August 31, 2017

By Rebecca Bagley
Vice Chancellor, Economic Partnerships
University of Pittsburgh

Rebecca serves as the University of Pittsburgh’s first Vice Chancellor of Economic Partnerships. She works closely with senior leadership to develop a strategic plan for the University in economic development and oversees public and private partnerships that advance the university’s regional, national and global impact.


I’m excited that I – along with Dr. Katrina Kelly, my colleague at Pitt and the Swanson School of Engineering’s Center for Energy – will be heading to London next week to help tell Pittsburgh’s story about something that is critically important to all of us worldwide.  That something is energy.

Pittsburgh knows more than a little bit about energy.  We’re the birthplace of the global energy industry:  we drilled the first oil and natural gas wells and built the first natural gas pipelines; electrified America with alternating current and commercialized nuclear power; and we pioneered scrubbers for coal-fired power plant, as well as intelligent building technologies that advance energy efficiency.

Today, the Pittsburgh region is balancing a “not one, but all” approach to energy – one that considers efficiency, reliability and responsibility. We’re bringing together researchers and bright minds from the University of Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania’s other renowned academic institutions, with industry and investment stakeholders to develop fresh approaches to energy usage, from the bottom up.  The alternative, from-the-top-down, can be heavy on governmental mandates and policies, and those can curb the kind of out-of-the-box thinking that drives innovation.

In the U.K. and across much of Europe, there is a real interest in bottom-up approaches to challenges.  Pittsburgh has a reputation globally for the kind of collaboration – spanning the region’s public and private sectors – that results in transformational outcomes.  Pittsburgh is accustomed to being considered a model for transformation and how to do things better.

With that in mind, we’ll be participating in a seminar hosted by the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance at K&L Gates’ offices in central London. Through case studies and robust discussion among a panel of energy experts and influencers from Pittsburgh and the U.K., we’ll be telling – and getting reaction to – Pittsburgh’ story of “leveraging markets and technology to create a new energy paradigm.”

It’s my belief that this seminar and our Pittsburgh story will pique interest in bilateral partnerships, both academic and corporate, between the U.K and our region, as well as energy or energy-related investment, which Pittsburgh is always eager to welcome.

You can follow our Pittsburgh region marketing mission to London on Twitter via #PghLondon, and keep your eye on the exciting innovation that’s underway at – and coming out of – the University of Pittsburgh at # pittpartners.

If you are interested in attending the seminar in London on the late afternoon of 5 September, see the event announcement and RSVP, as directed there, to reserve your seat.