Innovation

Here’s What Was Accomplished at Penn’s Pennovation Center This Year

2017 was the innovation hub's first full year of operation.

The Pennovation Center. | Photo: © Michael Moran via Hollwich Kushner

It’s been a little more than a year since the University of Pennsylvania opened up the Pennovation Center, a 58,000 square-foot innovation hub on its 23-acre Grays Ferry Pennovation Works campus. And since the 2016 grand opening, Penn researchers and entrepreneurs across fields including robotics, life sciences, and bioengineering have moved in, spurring Penn’s goal to partner with industry and commercialize its research more efficiently.

So what exactly went down in year one?

According to Pennovation Works’s year in review, by the numbers, Pennovation welcomed a number of new companies and visitors and made expansions:

  • 64 companies are now based at the Pennovation Works campus
  • 266 people total work on the campus
  • More than 151,000 square feet of space is leased on the campus
  • More than 25,000 square feet of space is available for lease
  • 4,840 square feet of usable space was recently added to the Pennovation Center
  • More than 6,500 visitors stopped by the Pennovation Center this year for events

In January 2018, Phase 2 of the Pennovation Center, the additional 4,840 square feet that’s been built, will open, and the area will be comprised of two additional labs and a number of flexible offices.

A recent $4 million renovation to the campus’s office building has given startups like COSY Robotics the space and opportunity to grow just before the new year. COSY is one of the first innovators to occupy the office building, according to Pennovation Works.

“The progression of COSY from an Inventor Garage in the Pennovation Center to a tenant in the Office Building is a model of our goal of supporting and nurturing entrepreneurs at Pennovation Works,” said Anne Papageorge, vice president of Facilities & Real Estate Services at Penn. “We imagine a facility where someone with a brilliant idea can start off at a coworking desk, grow into a garage or a shared lab space, and then eventually grow out of the Pennovation Center and move into larger space still at Pennovation Works.”

You can view Pennovation Works’s “Year in Pictures” here.