Temple Researchers Make AIDS Cell Breakthrough

Temple University is on the way to finding a cure for HIV/AIDS.

Last month, university researchers successfully removed HIV from a humanized model of cells using gene editing technology.

As of now, there is no cure for the disease, but this breakthrough is on track to finding one.

“Once HIV infects human cells, its genome incorporates in the whole cells,” said Kamel Khalili, Chair of Neuroscience at Temple University in a Newsworks article.  “And that’s a major problem for the treatments of the HIV-infected individuals. The current therapy that’s in the clinic is suppressing virus replication but it doesn’t eliminate.”

Khalili says that this breakthrough will hopefully lead to finding a cure for HIV/AIDS within the next 10 years.

Temple University is classified as an R1 research university, the highest classification possible, by Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

Villanova to Open Conference Facility and Hotel

Delaware County’s Villanova University will be opening their renovated hotel and conference center, The Inn, on July 1.

The facility, which has undergone renovations since November 2016, will include 56 hotel rooms, 14 meeting rooms, and a 5,000 square-foot ballroom.

This kind of development makes a positive impact on the regional economy, serving as a liaison between the college and the community.

“We’ve created a versatile venue space that offers a new vision of hospitality for Villanovans, academic and business leaders and the surrounding community,” said Paul Smits, Director of The Inn in a Philadelphia Business Journal article.

In 2016, Greater Philadelphia had a record-setting 14.7 million visitors stay overnight; Villanova’s new hotel rooms will add to the over 35,000 that are already in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Wilmington, DE Tops fDi Rankings as Emerging Micro-city

Wilmington, DE has been growing, attracting the attention of startups, co-working spaces and real estate investors.

This growth has earned the Delaware metropolitan area the number one spot on fDi’s top overall emerging micro-cities of the future in North and South America.

“Wilmington, Delaware is the leading American City of the Future in the Micro City classification,” said the report. “The city has seven ports within 100 kilometers, and connections to 30 international destinations from Philadelphia International Airport, just over 30 kilometers from the city.”

Wilmington also ranked number one for economic potential, number nine for human capital and lifestyle, and number one for connectivity.

Port of Philadelphia to Acquire 29 Acres

The Port of Philadelphia is taking over former Philadelphia Produce and Seafood Terminal in order to expand to over 1,000 acres of land.

This acquisition, which was purchased from PIDC, will be used to develop warehousing for the growth of the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal and will also play a vital role in Governor Wolf’s $300 million plan to expand the Port.

“We are excited to support the continued expansion of PhilaPort with the sale of this strategic parcel,” said John Grady, President of PIDC in a press release. “For more than 60 years, this site has played an important role in the movement of goods and services throughout the region, supporting business growth and thousands of family-sustaining jobs. With its strategic location, growing port, deep pool of skilled labor, and direct access to a large customer base in the northeast United States, Philadelphia is poised for even greater investment, development and job growth as a center for logistics, transportation, and distribution.”

The Port of Philadelphia is a huge economic engine in the Greater Philadelphia region; with this land acquisition, the Port is expected to increase job opportunities and economic growth.

Growing Greater Philadelphia: We Make it All

The Philadelphia region has been a manufacturing hub for more than a century. Today, it’s not only big companies that are producing products for the world. Start-ups are getting their companies ready thanks to a network of incubators.

Select Greater Philadelphia Council, in collaboration with NBC10/Telemundo62, have created Growing Greater Philadelphia, a television and digital program that highlights the Greater Philadelphia region’s business assets and success stories. This original program shines the spotlight on the exciting economic development and business growth stories happening across our 11-county community of Greater Philadelphia.

Learn about the manufacturing climate in Greater Philadelphia with Montgomery County’s K’Nex, Gloucester County’s Liscio’s Bakery, and Delaware County Community College’s Workforce Development program, among many others.

This program enhances Greater Philadelphia’s image and reputation as the place to establish and grow a business among regional, national, and international audiences by telling the stories of business successes from across the community.

Learn more about companies growing in the Greater Philadelphia region.

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.