(PITTSBURGH) February 9, 2012 Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced today that the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Board of Directors this afternoon will vote to reorganize its business development center in order to create the City’s first “Pittsburgh Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.” In addition, with 27 letters of support spearheaded by the new PowerUp Pittsburgh coalition, Pittsburgh last week applied to the Secretary of Commerce to attract a United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) satellite office.
“Part of this partnership’s mission is to make sure that local government and the innovation and technology communities collaborate as much as possible to support entrepreneurs and make our City’s job climate even more vibrant,” Ravenstahl said. “This new office provides that coordination and support – and as we all know, when we come together as leaders to rally around federal applications, we become much more competitive.”
These moves are all part of the Mayor’s and local leaders’ PowerUp Pittsburgh initiative, which seeks to improve collaboration across sectors in order to grow more tech- and innovation-based jobs. From finding an affordable space to start a business, to receiving funding, technical and referral support, the new office will serve as the point of contact for entrepreneurs and start-ups. The URA will hire a “Pittsburgh Entrepreneurship and Innovation Strategist” who will help coordinate these efforts. A USPTO satellite office in Pittsburgh would support and enhance the USPTO’s efforts to recruit and retain a highly skilled workforce, reduce patent application turnaround time and improve quality, and enhance communication between the USPTO and the patent applicant community. The office could initially create 100 new jobs for the region.
PowerUp Pittsburgh’s progress has received overwhelming support from all different sectors in the city.
“Business, government and university leaders, who relentlessly drive pervasive partnerships at every level across the innovation ecosystem, are the key ingredients in what continues to propel Pittsburgh,” said Audrey Russo, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Tech Council. “Pursuing the USPTO satellite office is yet another example of how the formation of PowerUp Pittsburgh aligns. The region knows the innovation and knowledge economy is pivotal and no longer ancillary. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's coordinated response to the USPTO office opportunity reinforces the strength of our region's innovation prominence at the national level."
"I applaud the Mayor's ongoing efforts to support the region's entrepreneurial community through initiatives like PowerUp Pittsburgh and the pursuit of a USPTO satellite office,” said Rich Lunak, president and CEO, Innovation Works. “The collaborative efforts of PowerUp Pittsburgh can help benefit our neighborhoods by attracting technology-driven jobs where we need them most. Further, securing a USPTO satellite office will bring jobs and greater recognition to the innovative technologies being started here.”
"PowerUp Pittsburgh is an initiative that recognizes the critical importance of creating a true partnership between government, our tremendous research institutions and the business community in order to capitalize on our opportunities to grow technology-based jobs in the region,” said Mark Nordenberg, Chancellor, University of Pittsburgh. “The Pittsburgh Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center will advance opportunities for entrepreneurs, new innovation and technology business growth and job creation within the City of Pittsburgh."
"The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon have worked together over the last decade to make Pittsburgh a model of university collaboration for economic development,” said Jared Cohon, President, Carnegie Mellon University. “Through the creation of Power Up Pittsburgh, we are renewing our commitment to help broaden the impact of the jobs and business opportunities created by leading edge research."
The URA will begin accepting applications for the new innovation position next week. The full job description will be posted online this Mon., Feb. 13, at www.ura.org. Mayor Ravenstahl formally presented Pittsburgh’s request to the USPTO on January 30, which was followed by a visit from U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson. The URA Board of Directors meets Thurs., Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. in the URA offices at 200 Ross St., Downtown.