Philadelphia as the Next Global City

Philadelphia’s innovation economy is strong, but city leaders can do more with its existing assets to compete globally and benefit local communities, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution.

The culmination of an 18-month study, “Connect to compete: How the University City-Center City innovation district can help Philadelphia excel globally and serve locally” examines the role of the innovation district within University City and Center City Philadelphia as a regional economic hub and as a key part of Philadelphia’s efforts to become a world-class innovation city.

Stretching from 17th Street to 43rd Street along the Market Street corridor, and south along the Schuylkill River to Grays Ferry, the 1.5 square mile innovation district in University City and west Center City is perhaps the most significant innovation hub among several in the Philadelphia region.

Philadelphia is the sixth largest metropolitan area in the country and ranks among the top 10 metros based on its total annual amount of public and academic research expenditures. However, it underperforms on several key metrics given its size and assets. To improve its economic competitiveness and grow more firms and jobs, the region needs to better leverage and align its strengths.

To this end, the study makes a number of recommendations. Among them is the establishment of an Innovation Council— a leadership group with the ability to bring diverse industry, public-sector, and civic stakeholders together to drive innovation, inclusion, and placemaking in the district and beyond.

Philadelphia’s chance of becoming a top-tier city—with the attendant firms, jobs, revenues, and innovations that status would bring to the city and region—cannot hinge on individual acts or institutions. Given its assets and the progress it has already made, it is clear Philadelphia can rise to this collective challenge.

The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia and its Select Greater Philadelphia Council are committed to leading the community dialogue to determine the best strategies to put the recommendations from the study into action.

Read the full Brookings Institution report.

Penn Medicine Reveals Plans for $1.5 Billion Project

West Philadelphia will soon have a new structure rising on its landscape.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System announced plans to construct a $1.5 billion project for inpatient care where the old Penn Tower Hotel used to stand.

This 17-story tower will contain 500 beds, 47 operating rooms and a new emergency department.

“Inpatient care is not going away, and more and more people are coming to places like us and places like Hopkins and some of the other big places around the country,” said Ralph Muller, chief executive of Penn’s health system in a Philadelphia Inquirer article.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System is one of 15 major health systems contributing to the over 100 hospitals to the region.

Photo credit: Foster & Partners and the University of Pennsylvania Health System

Public/Private Partners to Launch Delaware Innovation Space

A new incubator is slated to become a catalyst for economic growth and innovation in Delaware.

Delaware Innovation Space, an incubator that is being launched by DuPont, the University of Delaware and Delaware state government, will be located just outside of Wilmington and will contain 100,000-square-feet of space for science-based startups.

“This partnership between private business, academia and the state is precisely the recipe for economic growth that has proven successful in other regions across the country,” said Bob Perkins, executive director of the Delaware Business Roundtable in a Delaware Online article. “It’s an enlightened approach that will create opportunities for an entrepreneurial ecosystem to grow and create the future jobs our state needs.”

Investment from each of the three partners will add up to $25 million for the project.

Delaware Innovation Space will soon join the over 65 co-working spaces, accelerators and incubators located in the Greater Philadelphia region that are spurring economic growth and innovation.

SEI Investments Looking to Double Campus Size

Wealth management company SEI Investments is in the initial planning stages of expanding their presence on 90 acres of land next to their Oaks, Pa. location.

The company has been growing at a steady rate of 200 new hires annually for the past five years, a rate that isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon.

Though still in the initial planning stages, the new space will be designed in a way that fosters innovation and communication.

“Culturally, we aspire to be — and our success indicates we are good at it — in a work environment that increases responsiveness to our customer, who is at the center of everything we do,” said Dennis J. McGonigle, CFO of SEI in a Philadelphia Business Journal article.

SEI Investments is one of many companies creating new jobs and expanding their presence in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Rowan and Rutgers Team Up to Improve Alzheimer’s Care

Rowan and Rutgers Universities are working with Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals Inc. to improve the care model for patients of Alzheimer’s, a disease that adversely affects residents of southern New Jersey.

The partnership is basing their model off of an oncology program coming out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham that drastically cut rates of hospitalization and medical costs.

The program will focus on training care coordinators to follow through on patient care; successful implementation could result in $150,000 in revenue per trained coordinator.

Eds and meds are the second largest employer in the Greater Philadelphia region, which makes it the perfect breeding ground for new life sciences research and development.

“Forty percent of people that work in the Camden metropolitan area work in eds and meds,” said Kris Kolluri, CEO of the Rowan/Rutgers board, in a New Jersey Business article.

This program, along with other public/private partnerships, is driving economic growth within the Greater Philadelphia region.

Philadelphia Region Ranks Second in U.S. for Tech Job Growth

One in four jobs created within the past 13 years in the Greater Philadelphia region was a tech job.

That number percentagewise is higher than those in Washington, Boston and New York.

“When you see this kind of growth, you should be paying attention to it,” said Josh Sevin, acting executive director of Economy League in a Philadelphia Inquirer article.

There is a high demand across the country to fill tech positions. There are programs across Greater Philadelphia to help fill regional demands, such as Hopeworks N’ Camden in southern New Jersey and Zip Code Wilmington in northern Delaware.

The technology sector in Greater Philadelphia has continued to grow at a 4.4% rate annually since 2001.

North Broad Building to Receive Renovation

Retail space and 41 new apartments will be constructed with the redevelopment of a building on North Broad Street between Spring Garden and Fairmount streets.

The structure has served many different uses in its history, most recently functioning as the Calderwood Gallery before being sold in 2015 for $2.5 million.

The building, which was constructed in 1867, is being redeveloped by North Broad Living Management, according to Bis Now Philadelphia.

Companies such as GSK and Philadelphia Newspapers and other redevelopment projects are revitalizing North Broad Street, and mixed-use spaces such as Schuylkill Yards are in the works throughout the region, accelerating collaboration and growth in Greater Philadelphia.

Photo Credit: Bis Now Philadelphia

FMC Corporation Announces Acquisition of Significant Portion of DuPont’s Crop Protection Business

FMC recently announced that they will be acquiring a portion of DuPont’s Crop Protection business.

DuPont will also receive $1.2 billion in cash and acquire FMC Health and Nutrition.

FMC Agricultural Solutions will be the fifth largest crop protection chemical company in the world after the acquisition is closed. This transaction is expected to generate $1.5 billion in revenue in 2017

“This is a significant step forward for FMC, and for our Agricultural Solutions business in particular,” said Pierre Brondeau, President, CEO and Chairman of FMC in the company’s press release.  “The combination of market-leading products from DuPont’s crop protection portfolio and its world-class R&D capabilities will transform our Agricultural Solutions business into a tier-one ag technology company.”

DuPont’s top-tier discovery and development organization, which includes 14 regional labs and the Delaware crop protection research headquarters, will be a large asset to FMC as a part of the acquisition.

Other assets for the merger include the presence of Rutgers and University of Delaware, national leaders in agricultural research, and a strong regional manufacturing industry.

Universities from Across Greater Philadelphia Among Top Public Colleges in US

Temple University, Rowan University and the University of Delaware are among the top public schools in the nation, according to Buffalo Business First.

The rankings were based off of admission, retention, graduation rates, student body diversity, post-graduation earnings, and the cost of tuition, among other factors, according to a Philadelphia Business Journal article.

Other colleges include West Chester University, the College of New Jersey Rutgers University-Newark, and Rutgers University-Camden.

There are over 100 colleges and universities in the Greater Philadelphia region— including the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University— all of which are producing world-class talent.

Pa. Biotech Center to Begin Construction on $13M Expansion

The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County broke ground earlier this month on its $13 million expansion project.

The addition of 47,000 square feet of space will include 29 new laboratories, an auditorium, a cafeteria, and additional parking spaces. The new development is expected to create more than 100 new jobs.

“The center is now going to be able to reach its full potential,” said Dr. Timothy Block, Co-founder and President of the Hepatitis B Foundation in a Philadelphia Business Journal article. “This is a big step to turning this area into a biotech corridor modeled after Kendall Square in Cambridge.”

There are already many life sciences startups in the current space, with more expected to come with the new construction.

The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center is one of more than 65 co-working spaces, accelerators and incubators in the Greater Philadelphia region that are driving growth and innovation in the life science sector.

Photo credit: Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County