10 Reasons Biking In Philadelphia Is On A Roll

The sound of ringing bicycle bells is constant in Philadelphia, where a grid layout, mostly flat terrain and 435 miles of bike lanes make it ideal for cyclists, whether they prefer mountain bikes, fixed-gears or classic cruisers. With the launch of Indego, the city’s first bike-share program, even more riders can explore Philadelphia’s great outdoors and fantastic attractions—from historic sites to beautiful riverside trails.

Indego, the city’s first bike-share program named for sponsor Independence Blue Cross, provides riders (ages 16+) can check out a bike—there will be 600 available—at one of the 60 Indego stations in the city, from the Delaware River to the east, 44th and Walnut streets to the west, the East Passyunk neighborhood to the south and Temple University to the north. Indego bikes are meant for quick trips of up to 60 minutes. Once the ride is over, the rider can return the bike to any Indego station. Bikers can pay for each ride individually, or Indego members can opt for one of two pricing plans. Built by Trek, the three-speed bikes feature step-through frames, front and rear lights, comfortable and adjustable seats and baskets—making these check-out-and-go bikes the ultimate in convenience for both residents and visitors in Philadelphia. For more information, check out www.visitphilly.com.

New Incentive Program Encourages Container Activity at Port of Philadelphia

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is now inviting shipping lines to participate in its new Intermodal Cargo Growth Incentive Program, which aims to increase cargo activity at the Port of Philadelphia.  The program will offer a per-container financial incentive to current ocean carriers utilizing the port.

The program offers a $25 per-container financial incentive to current ocean carriers utilizing the Port of Philadelphia, for any new containers moved beyond a carrier’s previously-reported container levels.  It is hoped that carriers will be encouraged to try the Port of Philadelphia as a result of the incentive.  The program was established through PennDOT’s Multimodal Transportation Fund, following consultation between PennDOT, Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) officials, and other Philadelphia-area maritime businesses.

By encouraging companies to move more cargo through the Port of Philadelphia, PennDOT expects that this new program will attract at least 200,000 new annual container moves to the Port over the course of five years.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Multimodal Transportation Fund, established by Commonwealth Act 89, includes dedicated budget categories for aviation, rail freight, ports, and other transportation-related projects. Rules and further details on the program are available from PRPA’s Marketing Department and from PennDOT at www.dot.state.pa.us.

Greater Philadelphia Named in Top Ten U.S. Biopharma Clusters

This year’s top U.S. Biopharma Clusters list features Greater Philadelphia. According to GEN Magazine, the region saw an increase in venture capital financing, increasing almost 30 percent over 2013 to $211.376 million. The region also boasts 5th in jobs, 7th in patents and lab space, and 8th in NIH funding.  Click here to read more.

Gallup Ranks Delaware Among Top Ten Locations for Job Creation

A study conducted by the research organization Gallup, ranked the state of Delaware among the top 10 states for job creation. Gallup said Delaware had one of the sharpest improvements of any state since the organization began monitoring job creation in 2008.

In addition, the Delaware Department of Labor’s monthly labor review said the state’s unemployment rate plunged to 5 percent in January, down from 6.1 percent during the same month last year.

Delaware’s unemployment rate has declined steadily since late 2012, according to the Department of Labor report. The national unemployment rate increased to 5.7 percent in January, just above the December rate of 5.6 percent.

When Gallup started tracking job improvement, Delaware was one of the lowest ranked states in 2008 and 2009. Delaware has cracked the top 10 in both 2013 and 2014, finishing 10th for last year. It is the only state along the Eastern seaboard to be ranked in the top 10.

Port of Philadelphia Reports 16 Percent Jump in Cargo in 2014

The Port of Philadelphia reports a 16 percent in cargo in 2014, marking the fifth consecutive year of double-digit cargo growth along the city’s Delaware River waterfront.

Final cargo figures for 2014, compiled by the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA), reveal that 5,950,319 metric tons of cargo were handed at the Port of Philadelphia’s maritime facilities in 2014, a stunning 16.66 percent increase compared to the 5,100,385 tons of cargo handled in 2013.  Further, 2014’s total cargo tonnage marked the fifth consecutive year of double-digit cargo growth at the Port of Philadelphia.

Read more

Democratic National Committee Chooses Philadelphia for 2016 Convention

Philadelphia will host the 2016 Democratic National Committee (DNC) convention the week of July 25, 2016. The city beat out Brooklyn and Columbus for an opportunity to host conventioneers who will nominate their party’s candidate for the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections.

The DNC’s Technical Advisory Group evaluated cities across the country, looking at factors such as hotel capacity, transportation, security, financing and logistics. According to party officials, Philadelphia’s deep-rooted place in American history also provided the perfect setting for this special gathering.

“The City of Philadelphia is excited and honored to be selected as the host city for the 2016 Democratic National Convention,” Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter said. “We believe that it was our proven track record of hosting big events safely and efficiently with a dynamic team of top-tier professionals to organize and manage a conference of this magnitude, paired with our City’s tremendous amenities, its accessible location and historical significance, which made Philadelphia the ideal choice for the 2016 DNC.

In addition, the Vatican recently announced that Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia in September 2015. The Pope will take part in the World Meeting of Families conference and will deliver Sunday mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Center City, Philadelphia. The papal visit is expected to draw over one million people to the city.

Mariner East Projects to Add $4.2 Billion to Pennsylvania Economy According to New Study

Sunoco Logistics’ Natural Gas Liquids Projects to Support More Than 30,000 Jobs, Create Recurring Economic Benefits Across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Econsult Solutions, an economic consulting firm based in Philadelphia, released an economic impact study in February that concluded the Sunoco Logistics (NYSE: SXL) Mariner East projects are expected to add up to $4.2 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy, supporting more than 30,000 jobs during the construction period and approximately 300-400 permanent jobs.

The study, commissioned by Sunoco Logistics, is designed to forecast the potential economic and fiscal impacts of its proposed Mariner East projects on the Commonwealth’s economy. This includes the development of a 50-mile pipeline that connects with an existing pipeline, construction of a new 350-mile pipeline, and the re-purposing of its Marcus Hook Industrial Complex to store and process natural gas liquids (NGLs).

Read more

Greater Philadelphia Researchers Receive $650,000 from Science Center Initiative

Researchers from Lehigh, Rutgers, Temple and Thomas Jefferson universities are receiving funding from the University City Science Center’s QED Proof-of-Concept program.

Four local university researchers will receive a collective $650,000 from a University City Science Center initiative. The QED Proof-of-Concept program, which launched in 2009, helps fund and advise early-stage life-sciences technologies with high commercial potential.

This year, researchers from Lehigh, Rutgers, Temple and Thomas Jefferson universities are receiving funding. Half of the $650,000 will come from the Science Center, with the remaining half from the researchers’ institutions.

Below is the list of award recipients, described by the Science Center:

  • Lehigh’sChao Zhou, who is developing a diagnostic instrument that will allow faster, more sensitive eye exams for macular degeneration and glaucoma, improving an approach known as optical coherence tomography (OCT).
  • Rutgers’Steven Levison, who is developing a new product for culturing neural stem cells that simplifies and improves the ability of researchers to grow these cells for experimental and therapeutic use.
  • Temple’sWilliam Wuest, who is developing the next generation of disinfectants for a variety of commercial industries including healthcare, transportation, water and energy.
  • Thomas Jefferson’s Sunday Shoyele, who is developing a product for delivering highly-degradable gene inhibitors to cancer and other cells using antibody-based nanoparticles.

This year’s winning researchers were selected from a pool of 68 applicants from nine regional universities. The QED program, now in round seven, has previously funded 24 projects with more than $4 million. Six of those 24 technologies have been licensed, the Science Center said.


Rowan University’s Economic Impact on New Jersey is More Than $1.2 billion a Year

Rowan University’s annual operating budget and construction projects ripple through the state, supporting 6,400 jobs and generating $11 million in state taxes per year, according to a new report about the school’s economic impact.

The report also found that:

  • Rowan capital projects of $210 million over the past five years produced $340 million in statewide economic impact, supported 2,700 jobs and generated $9 million in state tax revenue;
  • Rowan students and visitors inject $107 million into the economy, support 1,300 jobs and generate $3 million in state taxes;
  • And Rowan degrees and credentials boost the earning power of New Jersey residents by roughly $140 million per year. They create a demand for up to 1,000 good jobs per year and generate state taxes of $3 million per year.

Rowan plans to invest more than half a billion dollars over the next five years on a variety of projects including new buildings for the William G. Rohrer College of Business and the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering, as well as a 1,400-bed student housing village.

To learn more, please read a summary of the report.  For a fuller explanation of Rowan’s statewide economic impact, read about it here.

Chilean President Visits Port of Wilmington

In January, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet paid a visit to one of her nation’s top export destinations — the Port of Wilmington. More than 2,000 people work at the port, at the mouth of the Christina River, with more than 800 jobs tied to the Chilean fruit trade, which generated about $4.4 million in tax revenue.

“We believe that this is a very positive, constructive, important relationship, so it’s not an accident that I’m here,” said Bachelet, who was first elected in 2006. She noted that she had long wanted to visit Wilmington and view its Chilean fruit operations. It was the first visit by a Chilean president to Delaware.

Read more