Temple Presents New Master Plan

Recently, Temple University presented new details of its master plan that calls for a new library, an interdisciplinary science building, and a full city block of green space.

Signature elements of the Main Campus plan include the following:

  • A state-of-the-art library at the core of campus on the current site of Barton Hall between Liacouras Walk and 13th Street. Library features are likely to include a robotic text-retrieval system, innovative spaces for interaction and collaboration, and a green roof.
  • A massive central green space to provide Main Campus with its first-ever true academic quad. The green space would expand north from the current space commonly known as Beury Beach after the planned demolitions of Beury Hall and the Biology-Life Sciences Building.
  • A new interdisciplinary science building—as or even more impressive than the recently openedScience Education and Research Center—anchoring the northeast corner of campus.
  • An expansion of the College of Engineering in support of the university’s goals to increase academic space for instruction and research.
  • A consolidated home forthe College of Public Health (formerly the College of Health Professions and Social Work), which is currently divided among several buildings.
  • Renovation of existing buildings for more flexible, contemporary learning spaces, including the forthcoming$11.5 million renovation of Wachman Hall, future renovations of Ritter Hall and Ritter Annex, and a repurposing of Paley Library after the new library is built.
  • Improvements to Temple’s main pedestrian thoroughfares, including Polett Walk.

The campus plan also features a variety of long-term residential life components, space to significantly enhance research capacity and promote collaboration, and suggestions to improve student and faculty life. The plan recommends phased implementation of various projects, some within the next five years and others over the next decade or longer.

CEO Council for Growth Releases Technology Transfer and Commercialization in Greater Philadelphia Report

The CEO Council for Growth, an initiative of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce (GPCC), released the findings of its new report, “Technology Transfer and Commercialization in Greater Philadelphia.” Lee Huang of Econsult presented the study’s findings at GPCC’s State of Entrepreneurship event on December 11. The report examines how Greater Philadelphia compares with other regions in the country, provides key recommendations to advance its commercialization potential, and explores what opportunities are available for future success.

The CEO Council commissioned Econsult Solutions, Inc. to refresh the CEO Council’s 2007 report on the gap between the region’s relatively robust science and technology research and its new private sector development. This report illustrates how the Greater Philadelphia region has changed and shows how it is doing relative to other regions based on interviews, surveys, and benchmarks established in the 2007 report.

This report advances an overarching goal that in the next 10 years, the region’s research institutions will birth 10 companies that grow to a liquidity event (e.g. acquisition or initial public offering) of $100 million or more. The report also had four recommended actions that will help the region advance its commercialization potential. They are:

  • Public and private sector participation should be recruited to fund additional pre-venture capital funds and business acceleration services.
  • The region should advocate for policies at all levels of government that demonstrate a commitment to innovation as an economic driver.
  • Collaboration must be encouraged, particularly through the use of shared space and shared equipment. A particular focus should be placed on elevating the work of the region’s engineering schools, given the promising intersections of engineering and health care (e.g. medical devices), engineering and energy (e.g. energy storage), and engineering and advanced manufacturing (e.g. composite materials).
  • The region’s leaders must work together to promote the region as an innovation hub, making particular appeals to venture capital firms seeking deals, young research and entrepreneurship talent seeking a place to learn and grow, and established entrepreneurs with regional ties who can help grow the next generation of startup ventures.

The full report can be viewed at www.ceocouncilforgrowth.com/reports/


Christiana Care Health System Named Top Ten Best Hospital to Work for in the Northeast United States

Christiana Care Health System in Newark, Delaware was named one of the top ten best hospitals to work for in the Northeast United States, according to Global Healthcare magazine.

Hospitals chosen represent the best of strong credentials, rich history and a growing focus on how to best care for patients, all while promoting the highest form of employee satisfaction and work-life balance.

Dating back to 1890, Christiana Care Health System is an award-winning hospital, earning a number of accolades in general surgery, orthopedic surgery, spine surgery, pulmonary care and overall clinical excellence. The hospital currently performs in the top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide.

Greater Philadelphia Energy Action Team Hosts Energy Hub Summit

On December 5, over 200 national and international business leaders attended an energy summit hosted by the Greater Philadelphia Energy Action Team (GPEAT) of the CEO Council for Growth and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. The summit brought together energy and manufacturing executives interested in attracting energy-intensive businesses to the Greater Philadelphia region. Both business and labor groups have lined up in support of the campaign to make Greater Philadelphia the strategic energy hub in the Northeast United States.

Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Prize, a history of the energy business, spoke to summit attendees about establishing the region as an energy hub. Mr. Yergin said that Greater Philadelphia has the assets needed to become an energy hub, including first-rate infrastructure, world-class colleges and universities with significant R&D capabilities, and an engaged and committed business community.

Greater Philadelphia has a long history as an energy center. The Delaware River is now home to five refineries that receive crude oil by train, and ship and distribute the fuels they produce to regional and international markets.

GPEAT Chairman and CEO of Philadelphia Energy Solutions Phil Rinaldi said “Greater Philadelphia is in a prime position to be the center of this major transformation in the energy industry by taking advantage of outstanding infrastructure and the tremendous regional talent pool of science, engineering, and business professionals augmented by craftsmen well trained in manufacturing trade skills that are deeply ingrained in the region’s history.” He added that the “development of Marcellus Shale offers not only significant opportunities to reduce consumer energy costs, but perhaps more importantly to promote sustainable economic growth and create new, family-sustaining jobs throughout the Commonwealth that would raise the region’s economic might.”

In addition, Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., a Philadelphia pipeline company, is investing billions of dollars to build its Mariner East pipelines to deliver Marcellus natural-gas liquids to former refinery sites in Marcus Hook and Westville.

To view videos about Greater Philadelphia’s energy initiative, visit www.ceocouncilforgrowth.com/energy. For information about business opportunities in Greater Philadelphia, contact Mari Juarez at [email protected] or (215) 790-3653.

IBC and Drexel University Team Up on Research Partnership

Recently, the Independence Blue Cross (Independence) Center for Health Care Innovation announced a new collaboration with Drexel University on several research projects aimed at improving the delivery of health care. Researchers are currently evaluating a number of areas for study including:

  • Identifying Independence members at risk for hospitalization and re-hospitalization, as well as identifying members who would benefit from Independence’s chronic disease outreach programs.
  • Applying machine learning techniques to unstructured data, such as notes from members’ interactions with doctors and other health professionals, to predict future health problems or customer service issues.
  • Evaluating health interventions that can reduce the number of avoidable emergency department visits.
  • Improving the detection of fraudulent claims, predicting when fraud is likely to occur, and developing strategies to help members protect their medical identity.

“The future of health care is dependent upon finding new ways to use technology and information to predict illness and prevent health problems before they develop,” said Independence president and CEO Daniel J. Hilferty. “This exciting, new research initiative, with one of our region’s premier universities, will help us discover and expand ways to improve health outcomes, lower health care costs and enrich our members’ health care experience.”

Independence and Drexel also teamed up in 2012 to create a business analytics certificate program for Independence associates through the Krall Center for Corporate and Executive Education in the University’s LeBow College of Business. Now in its third year, the program focuses on developing a deeper understanding of how to make data-based decisions and teaches analytic techniques that can be used to identify opportunities to enhance health care quality and services.

“We are pleased to expand our partnership with Independence Blue Cross and help apply analytics expertise to the challenges of health care,” said Drexel University President John A. Fry. “Working alongside one of the key players in health care in the region, Drexel has the opportunity to advance our goal of improving the quality of life for Philadelphians.”

Virtua Recognized for Outstanding Patient Safety Record by Leapfrog Group

All Four Virtua Hospitals Awarded “A” in Fall 2014 Hospital Safety Score

It’s all “A”s for each of Virtua’sfour hospitals, according to the Fall 2014 Hospital Safety Score, which rates how well hospitals protect patients from errors, injuries and infections. The Hospital Safety Score is compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety and is administered byThe Leapfrog Group (Leapfrog), an independent industry watchdog organization. The score is designed to give consumers useful information they can use to choose a hospital for themselves and their families.

“We are very proud that all of our hospitals have achieved “A” ratings for patient safety from the prestigious Leapfrog Group,” said Virtua president & CEO Richard P. Miller. “We have rigorous standards and continually monitor clinical performance to ensure that our patients are protected,” he said. “Training is standard procedure for all of our clinicians, and we implement best practices from simple procedures to the most technologically advanced. This excellent rating is a much-deserved recognition of the exceptional care and commitment Virtua physicians and staff provide every single day.”

Miller went on to say that “no matter where a patient enters at Virtua, he or she will get the same level of care, because we apply the same processes and have the same structures in place at all of our facilities.”

The Hospital Safety Score consists of 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data that involve processes, structures, and outcomes. All of this is compiled to produce a single letter grade that represents a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from preventable harm and medical error.

While Virtua has numerous safety measures in place, it attributes much of its success to the culture of safety it has established throughout the health system as well as the infrastructure it has created to support and strengthen that culture.

At its core are the Relationship Based Care and Shared Governance models that Virtua staff practices. This enables everyone on the team to identify issues and recommend solutions, which has had a highly positive impact on safety and quality as has the addition of a physician Patient Safety Officer.

“Technology has been another plus in creating a safe environment,” said Miller. “In addition to electronic medical records, the expansion of our Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) system has had a tremendous impact on patient safety. This technology helps to prevent medication errors.”

Nationally, more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals were assigned scores in fall 2014, with about 31-percent receiving an “A” grade. The Hospital Safety Score is completely transparent, with a full analysis of the data and methodology used in determining grades available online.

Greater Philadelphia Digital Health Strength Continues to Grow

As a hotbed for sustaining growth within digital health, few global markets are as well positioned to thrive as the Greater Philadelphia region.

In a joint study recently released by Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA, CEO Council for Growth, EY, Fairmount Partners, and the Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT), the Greater Philadelphia region’s strength and potential in digital health is explored, with more than $900 million in investment/exit activity in the region’s digital health sector since 2008.

Detailed in the report entitled “Digital Health: Building on our Strengths”, the Greater Philadelphia region’s pharma, healthcare, clinical trials and health-related IT sectors produced not only a tremendous base of opportunity for digital health ventures, but a strong infrastructure of organizations and initiatives to support further innovation. Both demand and potential are clear:

  • Of the 100+ digital health companies in the region, more than half are focused on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of health care providers, including hospitals, physicians and other caregivers.
  • With 198 hospitals and headquarters of two of the nation’s largest health insurers – (Cigna, Independence Blue Cross) – nearly two-thirds of digital health companies in the region are developing provider/payer solutions.
  • Greater Philadelphia is within two hours of 80 percent of the world’s major pharmaceutical companies, and home to GSK’s US headquarters. The pharma-focused subsector of digital health accounted for 21 percent of the region’s digital health companies, attracting the most outside investment during the period studied.
  • As patient-focused healthcare management gains traction, patient engagement applications accounted for the region’s largest portion of consumer-focused digital health companies.


To accelerate the growth of digital health in response to the Affordable Care Act, key stakeholders have organized around a common vision to leverage the region’s assets to increase recognition as a global leader in health care innovation.


“The evolution and convergence of the health and technology sectors continues. Match that with both the opportunity and spirit of the region, and there’s clearly a bright future for digital health here,” says RoseAnn B. Rosenthal, president and CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA.

“Greater Philadelphia possesses world-class health care assets that will accelerate and lead the development of innovation in health care technology and delivery. The CEO Council for Growth supports key regional partnerships that will leverage these health care assets and is pleased to collaborate on this important report.  Recognizing the growth potential of the digital health sector, the CEO Council for Growth has begun to convene regional leaders to develop a “laboratory” for health care innovation, and is utilizing the marketing and promotional strengths of Select Greater Philadelphia to highlight innovations within the regional health care sector,” said Rob Wonderling, president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the CEO Council for Growth.

“We continue to be impressed by the consistency of activity in the Greater Philadelphia region, which has increased over the past 12 months,” said Amy Dorfmeister, EY Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) Partner. “The healthcare IT sector continues to be very strong and should continue to see increased activity throughout 2014,” she added.

Dick Thatcher, co-founder and managing director of Fairmount Partners, notes “as an active investment banking and strategic advisor to emerging growth and middle-market healthcare information technology companies, and a regular publisher of healthcare information technology market trends, the Greater Philadelphia region has been, and will continue to be, a robust geography for both merger and acquisition and financing activity for the years to come.  The combination of the region’s mid- and large-sized digital health constituent base (e.g., healthcare systems, healthcare payers, pharmaceutical companies), and a growing trend of top-flight talent from that constituent base seeking a more entrepreneurial flavor to their professions, will only continue to drive digital health company formation, innovation, quality of healthcare delivery and ultimately, investment/consolidation.”

For a copy of the full report, visit 1410-1329399 2014 Philadelphia Digital Health Investment Report vf

University of Pennsylvania Holds Ceremonial Groundbreaking for Business Incubator Pennovation Center on South Bank Campus

On October 31, University of Pennsylvania students, faculty, staff and alumni gathered at the future home of the Pennovation Center at the South Bank, 3401 Grays Ferry Avenue in Philadelphia. The Pennovation Center is a three-story, 52,000-square-foot building that will serve as a touchstone for innovation at Penn.

“The Pennovation Center will be a dynamic hub that maximizes Penn’s impact by bringing together researchers, students, and the private sector to foster innovation and development in the region,” Penn President Amy Gutmann says. “Our signature strength in integrating knowledge across disciplines gives this approach to innovation and technology transfer new muscle, and important new momentum.”

Comprised of large and open non-traditional spaces, the Center will spur entrepreneurial activities, creative collaborations, and new approaches to the commercialization of research discoveries. The Center forms a central part of Penn’s South Bank—a 23-acre development at 34th Street and Grays Ferry Avenue—that is designed to encourage economic development and entrepreneurial activities at Penn and beyond.

The building will also house space for the Penn Center for Innovation (PCI), the University’s newest vehicle for commercialization of academic research. PCI will help Penn researchers partner with business, industry, and venture capital by connecting campus operations devoted to technology transfer and commercial partnerships.

“The South Bank and the [Pennovation] Center will certainly foster synergy among different technologies,” said Frank Leu, CEO of Novapeutics, a diabetes treatment company that has already opened an outpost on Penn’s South Bank.

Penn certainly believes the same thing — the University plans to invest $35 million into improving the South Bank and to build the 200,000-square-foot Pennovation Center.

The center “will attract attention from investors from all over the country to really look at the Philadelphia area,” Leu added.

Holt Logistics Corp Gets Tenant for Port Terminal

Select Greater Philadelphia investor Holt Logistics Corp, working in collaboration with South Jersey Port Corporation, Gloucester County Economic Development and other partners in southern New Jersey, secured NLMK Steel as their first tenet in the newly constructed, state-of-the-art terminal at the Port of Paulsboro.  NLMK is one of the leading suppliers of steel products in the US.

“Our choice of the Paulsboro Marine Terminal was driven by confidence in New Jersey to complete the project in a timely and professional manner, the professional reputation of South Jersey Port Corporation, access to a deep water port for large supply ships, and the availability of ample space upon the river to grow,” said Bob Miller, president of NLMK USA. “Our company is one of the leading suppliers of steel products in the US, and the supply chain for our fundamental raw material, steel slabs, is a critical link in the success of our business plan.”

The site includes a new $23 million access road that diverts truck traffic from the area neighborhoods.

New Jersey Senator Donald Norcross, whose Economic Opportunity Act spurred the chain reaction of Holt coming to the Port of Paulsboro said, “The announcement of this new tenant will equate to the creation of upwards of 100 permanent jobs here. That is what this project was always about, creating commerce up and down this river to create good paying jobs for our residents.”

Healthcare Software Company Chooses Greater Philadelphia

Syapse, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based healthcare software provider and Safeguard Scientifics portfolio company, recently announced that it chose Philadelphia for its East Coast office. Syapse partners with leading provider systems to implement clinical services for precision and genomic medicine in oncology, cardiovascular, neonatal, and other specialties.

The office will be focused on implementing Syapse at local healthcare provider networks and will be led by Michael Italia, former head of applications research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.