Pennovation Center: Where Ideas Go to Work

Amy Gutmann, President, University of Pennsylvania - Penn has always been about knowledge. We advance it for its own sake, but we also use knowledge to serve society, with new medicines and therapies, new technologies and products. You can only do this when you're able to attract the very best and brightest. To thrive, to create, to innovate, demands a certain kind of energy. You need comprehensive support and a unique intellectual environment. Call it the innovation ecosystem. At the heart of this ecosystem are Pennovation Works and the Pennovation Center, propelling the University of Pennsylvania forward.

Craig R. Carnaroli, Executive Vice President, University of Pennsylvania - We live in a city and region that has spawned or influenced development of many industries, innovations that have both improved lives and positively impacted society. The Pennovation Center is the next chapter in our long and successful innovation legacy. Six years ago, we acquired this 23-acre campus that extended Penn's reach and gave us the potential for 1.5 million square feet for growth. It was a challenging step, with many implications for the university's future. President Gutmann charged her team with creating a campus dedicated to innovation, another first for Penn. Pennovation Works will create a platform for innovative ideas to evolve into new products, new services, novel therapies, and ultimately, visionary companies that will change the world.

Anne Papageorge, Vice President, Facilities and Real Estate Services, University of Pennsylvania - Entrepreneurs need a community. And we want to deliver that for our talented faculty, researchers, and students. The Pennovation Center is a one-of-a-kind place in the region. It supports a variety of labs for biological research and other sciences. There are makers' spaces that we call inventor garages, a nod to those companies that started in garages, some of which are filled with production equipment for tinkering and prototyping. The top floor of the Pennovation Center is the headquarters for PERCH, the Penn Engineering, Research, and Collaboration Hub, already a hive of activity, even as the building changes around them. These are the best and sharpest engineering minds in the country.

Dawn Bonnell, Vice Provost, Research, University of Pennsylvania - Our mission is to support innovators as they translate their discoveries into new solutions to help them more easily bring their results to the marketplace and to the people who need them. This work needs a space. It needs people together in a room. It needs facilities and programming, all in an atmosphere conducive to innovation. Innovation is much more than traditional academic technology transfer. It's about building relationships and creating an atmosphere for exchanging ideas. This is exactly what Pennovation Center provides. At Pennovation Center, we're creating an atmosphere where new ideas are encouraged. Innovation is fueled by experimentation. It requires vision and tenacity. And it requires financial support, along with partnerships with our community, our city, and the federal government.

Amy Gutmann - Medicine and biotechnology, informatics and nanotechnology, robotics and energy science, just picture these and other disciplines coming together and blending in an ecosystem designed to accelerate innovation. This is Pennovation Works and here is why it works. We're bringing together new partnerships, revolutionary ventures, and a shared vision in a dynamic environment. We're enhancing the economy and advancing the public good, of Philadelphia, of the nation, and of the world. Pennovation Works is a new landmark in a city of firsts. Right here, we are ushering in Penn's age of innovation. And because there's an app for everything these days… (demonstration of a small robot delivering scissors to the stage of a ribbon-cutting ceremony.)