Penn Center for Innovation Celebrates Launch, Brings Research and Industry Closer Together

Yesterday, University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann helped celebrate 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, know-how and related assets into the marketplace for the public good.  

“The new Penn Center for Innovation that we inaugurate today embraces great teamwork as an organizing principle and is part of a major plan to advance innovation at Penn,” said Gutmann. "Innovation is the key to new products and processes, new opportunities and sometimes entirely new industries. Over the past six years commercialization agreements at Penn are up more than 600 percent and startups have more than doubled.  The Penn Center for Innovation will do even more to accelerate this impressive momentum.”


PCI helps faculty, staff and students secure patents, enter into commercialization agreements and found start-up companies, accelerating the translation of Penn discoveries and ideas into commercial products, businesses and services.

The launch reception was an opportunity for Penn researchers to meet and share ideas with members of the local business and venture capital community. 


Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter also praised the new initiative.

“The focus and leadership on commercialization that is being celebrated today at the University of Pennsylvania will be a tremendous asset as we continue to grow and expand the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Philadelphia and the region. I know that with President Amy Gutmann and the rest of the University as an engaged partner that our reputation as a hub for innovation, new venture creation and job growth will be solidified.”

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. The Center’s website provides step-by-step instructions and other personalized resources for individuals ranging from student inventors to venture capitalists.

In addition, PCI is expanding its services for new venture creation. UPstart and UPadvisors, two programs that already have a strong track record of supporting faculty start-up companies, now fall under the PCI Ventures umbrella along with emerging new efforts to support a wide range of new venture creation needs for Penn faculty and students.

“PCI’s ability,” said PCI Executive Director John Swartley, “to serve as a one-stop-shop for creating comprehensive and strategic partnerships between faculty and the private sector partners will provide tremendous benefits to the University and the region. I’m honored to have been chosen to help lead the launch of this distinct and innovative approach to commercialization.” 

Maximizing the ability of Penn researchers to partner with the commercial and industrial sector is in service of the University’s highest goals: inclusion, innovation and impact.

“PCI represents a core mission of the University of Pennsylvania,” said Dawn Bonnell, the University's vice provost for research. “PCI represents a core mission of the University of Pennsylvania,” said Dawn Bonnell, the University's vice provost for research. “The creation of new knowledge and using it to benefit society goes all the way back to our founder Ben Franklin, who wanted us to take new knowledge and make it practical.”

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