Philly Is on the cusp of marrying innovation with inclusion — finally!

Thanks in part to the EDA Tech Hub bid, the pieces are lining up for a major surge in equitable regional growth.

Every time I drive home from my Navy Yard office, I wave to the sparkling University City buildings and the many cranes, as I know the innovations they are sparking are going to matter for someone I love.

As we worked on the US Economic Development Administration’s Tech Hub proposal at the Navy Yard in January, a child heard his father’s voice for the first time at CHOP thanks to that kind of breakthrough. Is any further inspiration needed?

The time is now. The moment is ours. We have almost everything we need to shine and to make these life science innovations build a more inclusive sector.

Last month, while celebrating the opening of iNest, Temple University’s beautiful new innovation home on its North Philly Health Sciences Campus, Jen Gilburg, the deputy secretary for technology and entrepreneurship for Pennsylvania’s Department of Community & Economic Development, put forth a dare:

“Brag More!” she challenged us — and she’s right.

We should. We’re going to. It is all I can think of. It is all I can see. We are on the cusp of innovation finally marrying inclusion.

When the Greater Philadelphia region was designated in the fall as one of 31 new Tech Hubs, Ben Franklin Technology Partners convened a fascinating and diverse team from across the tri-state region to work together to submit an incredible $80 million, 5-year proposal with a 10-year vision — creating PROPEL: the National Center for Precision Medicine. Over 70 organizations made specific written commitments regarding their role.

For many reasons, it was the most complex proposal I’d worked on in 30 years, but it left us energized and ready for what is possible.


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