Delaware passes Job Creation and Innovation Act

Earlier this month, the Delaware General Assembly passed the Job Creation and Innovation Act for Small Technology Companies. This legislation will allow angel investors to provide capital to startup companies in the innovative science or high-tech fields.

The act will supply 25% in tax credit to angel investors who provide more than $10,000 to a Delaware-based science and technology company.

“As advocates for the bioscience community, we are thrilled with the creation of the angel investor tax credit,” said Helen Stimson, President and CEO of Delaware Bio, in a press release. “This will help Delaware’s existing innovative businesses grow, as well as attract new startups to locate here. The First State has one of the most robust R&D tax credits in the nation. When you consider the federal R&D tax credit and the angel investor tax credit, Delaware entrepreneurs can now access a true trifecta of benefits.”

Delaware was ranked the 5th best state in the U.S. to launch a business in 2016, according This legislation will make Delaware friendlier to companies that are in their initial stages.

Temple performs breakthrough in emphysema treatment

Scientists at Temple University, located in North Philadelphia, carried out a landmark clinical trial for a minimally invasive treatment of emphysema, a life-threatening lung condition most commonly linked to smoker’s lung that affects approximately 3.1 million Americans each year.

Current treatments of emphysema involve a risky procedure that consists of lung reduction surgery and can result in infection and respiratory failure. Temple’s trial, entitled LIBERATE, used an endoscopic lung reduction therapy that is far less invasive than existing treatment.

“The LIBERATE trial was designed to see whether Zephyr EBV was safe and effective over a relatively longer time frame, out to one year,” said Gerard Criner, chair and professor of thoracic medicine and surgery at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine in a Philly Voice article.

The trial resulted in reducing shortness of breath, improved lung functions, and better quality of life.

This trial is one of many medical breakthroughs coming out of Greater Philadelphia, such as CHOP’s first pediatric double hand transplant in the summer of 2016 and Penn completing the first ever robot assisted spinal surgery last fall.

PennDOT to construct $33M facility in Montgomery County, PA

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has plans to develop a 30,000 square-foot, $33 million facility that will accommodate their planned hiring boost within the next few years.

The new development, which will be built on land near the current center in King of Prussia, will accommodate the need for new hires due to Pennsylvania transportation systems’ growing need of maintenance and technological advances.

According to Philadelphia Business Journal, the project will break ground in 2020 with a projected finish date of 2021. PennDOT will continue to operate out of their current office until the development’s completion.

PennDOT oversees all things transportation-related in the Commonwealth, including the over 100 interstate highway interchanges located in Greater Philadelphia.

Science Center receives $500K grant for health security innovation

The University City Science Center received a grant that will help existing accelerators to improve innovation in national health security.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which operates as an entity of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provided the grant, which is a part of BARDA’s new Division of Research, Innovation and Ventures (DRIVe).

DRIVe, which operates as a public/private partnership model and has been implemented in eight accelerators nationwide, is intended to incentivize investors in developing solutions for potential health security threats.

“We are thrilled to join this exciting initiative,” said Curtis Hess, Interim President and CEO of the University City Science Center in a press release. “From proof-of-concept to business growth and seed investment, the Science Center’s acceleration capacity can meet the needs of emerging technologies through multiple stages.  We are proud that BARDA recognizes the value of our acceleration programs that benefit early-stage companies throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, as they progress through the commercialization spectrum.”

The University City Science Center is a huge driver of innovation in the Greater Philadelphia region and has leveraged more than $688 million in commercialization and accelerator programs to date.

Philadelphia has the highest quality of life for its cost in the U.S.

Philadelphia beat out every other city in the U.S. for quality of life for the cost, according to San Francisco-based Varo Money Inc.

The mobile banking startup surveyed more than 1,000 people over the age of 18. According to their results, 56 percent of Philadelphians said that the city had the best price tag for quality of life, and 73 percent stated that they could afford the lifestyle they wanted.

Overall, Philadelphia gained the top spot for quality of life over other big U.S. cities like San Francisco, New York City, and Chicago.

“For companies thinking about relocating or opening a satellite office, these survey results provide extremely useful data,” said Colin Walsh, co-founder and CEO of Varo Money, in a Philadelphia Business Journal article. “Quality of life — including financial considerations — is a huge benefit for companies across industries, and this survey hits some of the most critical factors.”

Philadelphia has also gained high rankings for everything from the 4th most improved economy in the U.S. to 5th least expensive city to base a tech startup.

Penn performs first ever robot-assisted spinal surgery

Penn surgeons made history by completing the first ever robot assisted spinal surgery.

Surgeons used a trans-oral robotics approach (TORS) which uses a minimally invasive process to remove tumors. The patient who received the surgery last summer, 27-year-old Noah Pernikoff, has since made a full recovery.

“The capability of this technology and procedure is revolutionary,” said Bert O’Malley, a professor at Penn and chairman of the department of Otorhinolaryngology in a Philadelphia Magazine article. “This surgery was groundbreaking, and it’s a wonderful example of how versatile TORS is for tumors in the head, neck, and now spine.”

This is one of many medical breakthroughs happening in the Greater Philadelphia region. Others include CHOP’s first pediatric double hand transplant in the summer of 2016 and Spark Therapeutics’ development of the first gene therapy treatment to be approved in the U.S.


DuPont expands to Newark with new purchase

DuPont Transportation & Advanced Polymers (T&AP), a business unit of DowDuPont Specialty Products Division, is expanding to Newark, DE with the purchase of a facility that they plan on investing approximately $45 million into over the next two years.

The facility will be twice the size of the current plant, Tralee, and will retain the facility’s 200 current employees. The new plant will manufacture a sealing material that is heat and chemical-resistant.

“We are extremely fortunate to have found a site that will allow us to invest for growth while retaining our highly skilled employees,” said Randy Stone, president of T&AP in a Delaware Business Now article. “Customers will be receiving the same high-performance parts as we progress through this expansion and transition. We also are pleased that our growth and investment plans are Delaware based as we’ve enjoyed a strong partnership with the state since we launched the Kalrez business over 40 years ago.”

DuPont’s expansion will further grow the strong manufacturing presence in Greater Philadelphia, which has 185,000 workers employed at 5,500 establishments in the region.

Braskem launches Process Operator Academy

There has been a vast decline of skilled workers in trade over the past ten years due to baby-boomer retirement. Braskem America, Eastern Controls, and Delaware County Community College have partnered up to address the discrepancy with a new Process Operator Academy, which will be located at Delaware County Community College in Media, PA.

The academy teach workers to become process operators in the petroleum, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries. The eight-week courses that the academy is offering will train workers to oversee and monitor equipment to ensure a safe and efficient work environment.

“We actually have a world class training facility right here in our own backyard,” said Jeremy Glisson industrial director for Braskem America in a press release. “Thank you to Delaware County Community College.”

“As the nation’s economy improves, manufacturing in America is growing, but employers are facing critical labor shortages,” said Cliff McLaughlin Jr., president of Eastern Controls. “Recruiting, training, and retaining skilled workers is the real issue for area employers.”

The goal of the academy is to fill high-demand jobs by cutting worker training time in half, which will support the trade industry and jobs in the region.

Jefferson to begin work on $205M expansion on New Jersey hospital

South Jersey’s Jefferson Washington Township Hospital broke ground on its $205 million expansion project earlier this month.

The health facility will receive an eight-level parking garage, a seven-floor patient tower with a new lobby, a same-day surgery unit and recovery room, and a new processing distribution center.

“Our Washington Township facility continues to evolve and grow to meet the needs of the communities we serve,” said Joseph Devine, president of Jefferson Health in New Jersey in a Philadelphia Business Journal article. “We are thrilled to begin addressing the ever-increasing demand for parking on this campus. [The expansion will provide] a new level of service and patient-focused amenities to the people who depend on us for care.”

Jefferson Health Systems was recently ranked one of the best hospitals in the nation, coming in at 16 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals list.

Newark, DE to get transformational redevelopment project

College Square Shopping Center in Newark, DE, is about to receive a makeover.

Real estate investor Fusco and apartment developer CornerstoneTracy have partnered up to transform the square with retail shops, restaurants, and apartment complexes.

“[This project will] transform the College Square property into a walkable and bikeable active lifestyle center, with high-quality apartments designed for working professionals and empty-nesters,” a joint release said in a statement in Delaware Business Now. “The project looks to establish a modern, amenity-rich destination that will provide a unique sense of place.”

The residential units will mostly be studio or one-bedroom apartments in order to meet high demands.

The developments are projected to breathe new life into the square.

Photo credit: Delaware Business Now