Manufacturing in Greater Philadelphia Sees Fastest Gain in Three Years

In July, manufacturing in Greater Philadelphia expanded at its fastest pace in more than three years, as new orders, shipments, and hiring all rose.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said its index of regional factory activity rose to 23.9 in July from 17.8 in June. July’s figure is the highest since March 2011, and is much higher than last year’s average of 6.4. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia report suggests that U.S. manufacturing output continued to grow in July and will also boost growth in the third quarter.

Read more here.

University of Pennsylvania Establishes Penn Center for Innovation

University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann announced the launch of the Penn Center for Innovation, a new initiative that will provide the infrastructure, leadership and resources needed to transfer promising Penn inventions and related assets into the marketplace.

“The Penn Center for Innovation will maximize our mission as a research university of putting knowledge into practice for the good of our community and society,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “‘Pennovation’—our ability to advance both basic discovery and the society-improving applications those discoveries enable—makes Penn a leader in this vitally important field. The Penn Center for Innovation also will transform our region’s capacity to support an ecosystem of innovative entrepreneurs, companies and workers all making essential contributions to our collective economic future.”

The Penn Center for Innovation consolidates and unifies the University’s Center for Technology Transfer with other campus organizations devoted to the commercial advancement of University research and development, allowing for a more streamlined experience for Penn researchers and potential business and industry partners.

In 2007, Penn established the UPstart Company Formation Program, a model for University venture creation. UPstart now boasts a portfolio of over 50 companies, including Nelum Sciences, which develops transparent coatings that keep solar panels clean; CytoVas, developing high-throughput diagnostic tests for patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease; Graphene Frontiers, commercial scale production of high quality graphene sheets; and RightCare Solutions, which produces software packages designed to ensure patients are healthy enough to leave the hospital before they are discharged.

Amazon to add 500 full-time employees

Amazon.com is hiring hundreds of employees at its Middletown, Delaware site in New Castle County.

The News Journal reported the added positions will boost employment at the Middletown site to 2,000.

Amazon opened the fulfillment center with incentives from the state and the Town of Middletown in 2012.

Health Systems First To Combine Radiology, EHR

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Virtua, a southern New Jersey health system, have unified their radiology operations across electronic health records systems and state lines.

By deeply integrating imaging systems and EHRs, the two systems have made it possible to create an integrated health record that includes images captured at a Virtua facility and read by pediatric diagnostic imaging specialists at CHOP.

“One of our guiding principles for the partnership was that when the patient family needs radiology services, they could be done either at CHOP or done at Virtua,” says Gayle Stidsen-Smith, the CHOP IT director who oversees support for its picture archiving system and served as CHOP’s project lead. “We wanted to make it so New Jersey patients could have images done in their own backyard. Those images would reside in both the Virtua electronic medical record as well as the CHOP medical record, even though they’re completely different systems with different database structures.”

Read more

Philadelphia is the New Go-To Place for Israeli Startups

Silicon Valley is touted as the tech capital of the U.S. but Philadelphia is fighting for second place according to an article that appeared in the Jerusalem Post. The article, written by a journalist that participated in Select Greater Philadelphia’s media high-tech tour, talks about the growing tech sector in Philadelphia and how Israeli entrepreneurs are looking to take advantage of opportunities in this region hoping to break into the U.S. market. Read the story: Fertile ground. Has Philadelphia become the new focus for Israeli startups?