In 2012 the Great Valley Technology Alliance (GVTA) and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Technology Institute (NPTI) merged their Boards to form tecBRIDGE, which aligned efforts to collaboratively strive to create and embrace entrepreneurial opportunities, Technology, Entrepreneurship and Collaboration, with the purpose of growing technology and biotechnology wealth within Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Formative Period: The current Great Valley Technology Alliance and Northeastern Pennsylvania Technology Institute organizations and their associated programs and activities originated in 1998 by the Scranton and Wilkes-Barre Chambers to engage Battelle Institute in an assessment and strategy for a new collaborative venture for Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties. The Battelle report, “Great Valley-Pennsylvania’s I-81 Technology Corridor: Growing a 21st. Century Knowledge Economy in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties”, provided a plan of requirements and action. The Chambers were joined by CAN-DO (Kevin O’Donnell) and Community Leaders to include Bill Scranton III and Bob Ciaruffolli. In 1999, utilizing the Battelle report as a platform, and with broad support of the regional leaders of the academic, public and private sectors, the GVTA was launched into the Community.
Great Valley Technology Alliance (GVTA): An entity formed to organize and facilitate programs which promote the region and the development of individuals and organizations. By doing so, Northeastern Pennsylvania would become a recognized leader in technology-based economic development, with particular focus on the emerging new media/information technology space.
Northeastern Pennsylvania Technology Institute (NPTI): An entity formed to provide a coordinated effort to seek support for and to operate organized intellectual property development, thereby creating a generation of technology-based entrepreneurs and companies in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
tecBRIDGE is a regional collegial organization that collaboratively strives to create and embrace entrepreneurial opportunities with the purpose of growing technology and biotechnology wealth within Northeastern Pennsylvania. The tecBRIDGE focuses on harnessing the intellectual capital, energy, and passion of young professionals by tapping the abilities of business, academia, government, and economic development of technological, biomedical and natural resource related opportunities of the region, acknowledges those who excel in these areas, and supports the education of those who will lead the region’s knowledge based economy of tomorrow.
Benefits accruing to Northeastern Pennsylvania as a result of our organization:
- $4 million in WIRED funds flowed to NEPACU universities and institutions through the NPTI.
- Several new certificate, two-year, four-year, and graduate programs were developed at area colleges and universities.
- The largest regional KIZ program in the State. It has attracted significant funding for college internship programs, amounting to over 300 internships.
- The Starter Kits program which has provided support to bring new faculty and technologies to participating campuses and brought $1.2 million to NEPA schools.
- $5 million in funds which support joint research projects for area companies such as Schott Glass, EthosGen, etc., all working in conjunction with local colleges and universities.
- A sophisticated and coordinated network of colleges, universities, and hi-tech firms was established and tied together through high speed networks and local connections that are provided by Frontier Communications.
- $100,000 was distributed to area businesses such as Hydro4GE and BlackOut Design for the Intellectual Asset Inventory Database. That system provides existing and prospective businesses with an inventory of personnel and equipment available for their use.
- Nearly $1.3 million in Innovation Grants received by NPTI organizations to conduct collaborative research and development activities in conjunction with regional businesses that are in need of such research.
- Over $1.2 million in Starter Kit funds utilized by NPTI schools to attract world-class research faculty and equipment.
- $7.5 million in tax credits made available the Luzerne and Lackawanna start-up companies through the KIZ tax credit program.
- A $200,000 grant from the ARRA program to fund additional internships at local firms utilizing students from NPTI schools.
- The establishment and operation of an Angel Network to vet new companies for possible funding.
- Served as the NEPACU/NPTI representative on The Commonwealth Medical College’s founding Board, thereby influencing the future role of the region’s colleges and universities with respect to medical education in NEPA.
- Through its statewide relationships, NPTI has brought funding from other regions of the state to NEPA, specifically, $60,000 in PATCI funds from the Technology Collaborative (Pittsburgh), $40,000 in Jump Start funding for technology start-ups from EbizITPa (Erie), and potentially another $45,000 in Kick Start funding from the Oakland KIZ.
- NPTI has brokered an agreement with the Penn State University Intellectual Property Office to evaluate any intellectual property created by NPTI member organizations for a significantly reduce cost.
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