Penn’s Innovation Hub is Delivering Impact and Growth

The Penn Center for Innovation (PCI) had a tremendous impact on the Greater Philadelphia community. PCI works to translate ideas and discoveries invented at the University of Pennsylvania into products and services that provide economic and social benefits. Their recently released FY2018 Year in Review shows an astonishing range of accomplishments for PCI over the past year.

In their last fiscal year, PCI achieved new records in commercializing the inventions of their faculty through negotiating more than 675 commercial agreements. Two Penn Co-inventors, William A. Beltran, DVM, PhD and Gustavo Aguirre, VMD, PhD, were awarded a U.S. patent for a new gene therapy for X-linked Retinitis Pigmentosa (XLRP). This is included in the 801 patents filed and 107 U.S. patents issued this year by PCI researchers.

Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences and Penn Design faculty and researchers have formed a bio-prototyping startup company called Biorealize. Orkan Telhan, Founder of Biorealize and Karen Hogan, CEO of Biorealize, developed the first product to create and test genetically modified microorganisms while using a highly networked desktop system.

Another startup founded through an exclusive collaboration and license agreement at Penn called Tmunity Thereputics, Inc. raised $185 million in 2018. Tmunity is developing the first-in-patient cell and gene therapies based on the exclusive technologies and expertise from Carl June, M.D. Twenty-four PCI-Facilitated Penn startups were launched in the past year, including Biorealize and Tmunity.

Penn was ranked number four on universities that outperform in licensing deals, number of inventions, licensing revenue, and startup creation on a per-student basis. Furthermore, Penn was ranked number four in Reuters Top 100: The World’s Most Innovative Universities.

The Pennovation Center has grown their tenants and programs to 40 companies and 133 members. Pennovation is the University of Pennsylvania’s business incubator and laboratory that aligns and integrates researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs for the commercialization of research discoveries. Pennovation hosted the first Philadelphia Mini Maker Faire this summer with 1,200 attendees. It is set to open a Penn and Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC collaboration called JPOD. Penn faculty and research programs met with over 50 major international companies to discuss Penn-based partnerships.

The Philadelphia region is home to over 100 colleges and universities producing world-class talent. Temple University, Rowan University and the University of Delaware are among the top public schools in the nation.