Penn and Johnson & Johnson partner on healthcare innovation

JPOD will soon be Philadelphia’s newest networking hub.

It was born out of Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s JLABS to support healthcare startups. The first one to launch in the U.S., called [email protected], will be hosted at UPenn’s Pennovation Center.

“There is a remarkable synergy between the Pennovation Center and the JLABS vision,” said Craig Carnaroli, Executive Vice President at Penn in a Philadelphia Business Journal article. “[email protected] is another strategy and implementation tool to help build a Philadelphia regional base of successful innovation.”

The partnership is expected to give entrepreneurs access to the global market and accelerate product development specifically geared towards patients and consumers.

“This new regional resource will help translate and advance science and discovery while lowering business, financial and operational obstacles so that companies in the Greater Philadelphia Region can do what they do best, focus on science and bringing innovative solutions to patients,” said Penn Vice Provost for Research Dr. Dawn Bonnell.

Pennovation is one of over 65 co-working spaces, incubators, and accelerators located throughout the 11-county region.

Port of Paulsboro receives $1.5M for improvements

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration granted the Port of Paulsboro $1.5 million for water infrastructure improvements.

The project, facilitated by South Jersey Economic Development District, is projected to create 150 jobs and produce $10 million in private investment through the installation of a new water main.

According to NJBIZ, the “construction of this water line is critical to port operations and will facilitate the development of an additional 150 acres of land for businesses that trade, ship, process or distribute maritime cargoes and products.”

The Port of Paulsboro is one of four in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Image courtesy of Holt Logistics. 

76ers Fieldhouse breaks ground in Wilmington

The 76ers Fieldhouse facility, worth $26 million in investment, broke ground earlier this month.

The new facility, which will be built on the 8.9 acres of land near the Christiana River Bridge, will be 140,000 square feet.

According to Delaware Business Now, the site will serve “as the home to the 76ers’ NBA G League Team, the Delaware Blue Coats, a Nemours Physical Therapy Clinic, Titus Sports Academy, and the Future Soccer Stars Foundation, a program that introduces soccer to the youth of Wilmington.”

Once completed, the complex is expected to bring approximately 80-100 new part-time jobs to the area.


Image courtesy of Delaware Business Now. 

Inspira and Rowan award $20K to healthcare entrepreneurs

Three healthcare entrepreneurs were awarded $20,000 in seed money at the Health Hack event held in South Jersey Technology Park earlier this month.

Inspira Health Network Innovation Fund and Rowan University administered the funding after a two-day process evaluating nine different products ranging in utility from personalized medicine to disease diagnostics.

“The energy and creative forces that we witnessed at the Health Hack were the direct result of providing a venue for innovators from many disciplines to work together,” said John DiAngelo, CEO of Inspira Health Network, in a NJBIZ article. “At the opening of the event, I told the participants I was counting on them. Their creative thinking and drive to improve patient care exceeded my expectations.”

Winners of the funding included a patient transportation service that increases access to care, a portable 3-D microscope that diagnosed dermatologic issues, and a personalized treatment of gastrointestinal disease.

Greater Philadelphia is a top region for life sciences and healthcare technology, with approximately 567,000 people working in the eds and meds sector.

Drexel among top 100 universities in utility patents worldwide

Drexel University jumped 18 spots to #52 in the world in 2017 for utility patents – patents that cover new products – granted in the U.S.

The National Academy of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association releases its Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility report each year. It is based on the number of patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to universities.

“Our consistent ranking in this global group of institutions is an illustration of the creative, intellectual and productive nature of our talented faculty, and the Drexel Ventures team’s commitment to supporting them through the management and commercialization of the University’s intellectual property,” said Senior Vice President for Corporate Relations and Economic Development Keith Orris in a press release.

Drexel’s patents have covered a broad spectrum of categories, including tumor detection development, a drug that treats Parkinson’s disease, and a multi-touch piano keyboard.

Drexel is one of nearly 100 colleges and universities in the 11-county region that are driving innovation and growth in Greater Philadelphia.

SEPTA among few U.S. agencies to meet safety deadlines

SEPTA is one of few railroad agencies in the U.S. to have all of its Positive Train Control (PTC) systems fully in place by deadlines set by congress. This includes 100 percent of its locomotives equipped, employees trained, and track rigged to run with PTC.

PTC systems are structures put in place to automatically control the speed of a train; they play an important role in preventing human error. SEPTA has PTC implemented on all of their commuter rail lines.

According to, the reason why SEPTA is ahead of other U.S. rail systems is due to numerous factors, including a consistent management team that oversaw the installation process from start to finish.

SEPTA is currently working to implement the safety standards on their freight rails, which only run at night. SEPTA’s full range of transportation options, including trolleys, subways, regional rail and busses, helped Philadelphia’s public transportation rank 9th in the nation.


Penn launches first neuroaesthetics center in U.S.

Penn Medicine launched a research center for neuroaesthetics earlier this month, the first of its kind in the U.S.

As the field of neuroscience develops, researchers are hoping to gain deeper insight into the relationship between neurobiology and aesthetics. The center will help develop further understanding into how our aesthetic biology influences our decisions on choosing partners, how we consume, and what we find appealing in design.

“This center allows us to bring together, build upon and advance knowledge of the mysterious world of aesthetic experiences,” said neurologist Anjan Chatterjee, leader of the new center, in a Philly Voice article. “Our goal is to evolve basic and translational research, educate the next generation of scholars and serve as a hub for creative experts interested in the nature and neural basis of beauty, art, and architecture.”

The center will bring together experts in psychology, neurology, business, and architecture, among others, in order to better understand a field that has little research dedicated to it. The center will also help advance Penn Medicine’s global status; it recently ranked as a top health system in the U.S..

$90 million Route 295 construction project almost complete

Route 295, which runs through Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, has undergone construction in order to improve traffic efficiency.

The final phase of construction on the project will begin next month.

“The I-295 southbound reconstruction project remains on schedule,” said Brent Van Lith, senior project engineer in a Delaware Business Now article. “With about 25 percent of the project remaining, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Total investment of improvement to the interstate will reach around $90 million.

“The goal of the whole reconstruction project is to rehabilitate the approach to roads and ramps to improve the highway’s efficiency and safety while limiting the impact on the traffic patterns and the traveling public during the construction,” a DRBA release stated. “I-295 southbound mainline traffic lanes will have 50 percent more capacity.”

Once the project is complete, commute time in the region, which is one of the lowest in the country, is expected to improve.

Port of Wilmington ranked 50th in the U.S.

The Port of Wilmington recently made its way to 50th in the nation, according to Global Trade Magazine.

The Port, which is known as a top destination for bananas, has an import/export tonnage of more than 10.5 million per year.

According to Delaware Business Now, the Port is a persistent source of good-paying blue collar jobs in a state where these careers are becoming increasingly obsolete.

In January, the Port received the first shipment of Chilean fruit to the U.S. for 2018. The shipment was stored in the refrigerated warehouse complex, one of the largest in North America, before being distributed to Canada and along the east coast. It is one of the largest entry points for Chilean fruit year round.

Camden sees uptick in demand for office space

Camden has undergone a transformation over the past decade. The city’s revitalization can be attributed to developments such as Holtec International’s headquarters, Subaru of America’s headquarters, and Liberty Property Trust’s Camden Riverfront project.

Newfound revitalization for the New Jersey city has seen a large uptick in demand for office space.

“There is a need for space,” said Anne Klein of Newmark Knight Frank in a Philadelphia Business Journal article. “As an example, One Port Center is 100 percent full and I’m constantly getting inquiries about any space coming available any time in the future. That is obviously Class A space right on the waterfront, but it’s still a desire to be in Camden.”

Many of these redevelopment projects have been fueled by Grow N.J., a job creation and incentives program that is in place to create a competitive edge for the state. As development continues to expand, demand for office space in Camden is expected to grow.