Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Winning Combination

Why universities + corporate partnerships = jobs in our region.



“Pittsburgh is a research powerhouse, with more than $1 billion in funding, mostly from the U.S. government,” Carnegie Mellon University president Jared Cohon observed a short time ago. “And recently, we’ve turned our attention to turning research into job creation. We have a vibrant technology sector with hundreds of companies, some very small. The pace at which we are spinning off companies continues to grow.”

A glance around the city’s East End confirms that federal agencies are lining up to work with local universities. The National Robotics Engineering Center, a unit of CMU’s Robotics Institute, is one of the world’s largest R&D operations in the field. CMU’s Software Engineering Institute is a world leader — and its Entertainment Technology Center is creating the techniques and talent for the region’s gaming and film industries. The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a joint project of Pitt and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, investigates therapies and materials with major promise in the health care industry worldwide. In State College, Penn State is helping NASA share its vast data trove with the nation’s teachers. In 2011, the program reached over 100,000 students and teachers in STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and math).   

Now, the world’s largest corporations are following the fed’s lead, joining forces with academics to develop new products and solutions.

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson recently announced collaboration with UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh’s Drug Discovery Institute. “I think J&J was surprised to see the depth and breadth [of research activity] at Pitt,” says Institute director Lansing Taylor. “Now that we have rocketed up to No. 6 in funding from the National Institutes of Health, we’ve become a powerhouse.” In July, Pitt announced another high-profile affiliation with Sanofi Pasteur to develop a vaccine strategy that protects against all strains of seasonal influenza, avoiding the need for annual vaccinations.

While Pitt attracts corporate partners in the health sciences, there’s a different group of high-profile logos next door. Among Carnegie Mellon’s long-standing affiliations is a 12-year effort with General Motors. Since 2000, the world’s largest automaker has contributed more than $10 million to establish two Collaborative Research Labs (CRLs) at the university: the Information Technologies CRL and the Autonomous Driving CRL. One result from the CMU/GM team: an experimental vehicle for a driverless car.

CMU’s world-class reputation in computer science, information technologies and software development has drawn global leaders to take up residence. Microprocessing giant Intel arrived in 2001 and now has eight full-time employees working on campus. In 2007, Microsoft made the same commitment, sponsoring CMU’s Center for Computational Thinking. And five years before Google Pittsburgh moved to its own East End location in 2010, it landed a group of top-flight researchers on the CMU campus to work with researchers and students.

The establishment of the Entertainment Technology Center in 1998 made sense for CMU, merging the talents of arts and computer scientists. Now, media companies are experimenting with robotics, human-computer interaction (HCI), speech understanding, computer vision and machine learning. Since 2008, the Disney Research Lab at CMU has turned the signature brand fantasies into reality.

Point Park University has founded a thriving regional partnership with Stage AE, the busy North Shore entertainment venue, which puts students in the Sports, Arts and Entertainment Management program into real-life projects. Internships are required, explains program director Steve Tanzilli, for those planning careers repping bands, producing shows and managing arena-sized productions; Tanzilli says job placement rates are high. “Anecdotally, we see about 90 percent employed,” he says. “Our students are walking into full-time jobs.”

Fourteen Duquesne University students now participate in the Bayer Scholars Program, developed to enhance diversity in the academic setting and scientific workforce. Funded by an eight-year grant from the Bayer USA Foundation, headquartered in Robinson Township, it targets women and minority students, and accepts academically talented and motivated freshman chemistry or environmental chemical science majors. Financial aid, mentoring, and research and internship experiences are a part of the program.

Other regional corporations have significant presences on-campus: Highmark has confirmed a partnership with Grove City College’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation that will provide an independent seminar course for Grove City College students this coming academic year. At Allegheny College, a partnership is in the works with UPMC. Saint Vincent College and Kennametal Inc. have cooperated in the Kennametal Center for Operational Excellence since 2004 within the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Stop Using Uber and Lyft, Renting a Bike is Better

You'll save money and have an easier time hopping between neighborhoods on a Healthy Ride bicycle.

America’s “Gratest” Celebration of Cheese is Coming to Pittsburgh

Sample cheese of every rind during the American Cheese Society’s annual Festival of Cheese.

The 400-Word Review: Skyscraper

If you want "Die Hard" with half the brains but three times the building, the new Dwayne Johnson flick will do a passing job.

A Pop-Up Bar in Pittsburgh that Serves a Sober Alternative

Empath provides the vibe and social space of a bar, as well as stepped up beverage service ... without the alcohol.

Watch: 12 Questions with WTAE's Sally Wiggin

The WTAE anchor was voted Best Journalist by readers of Pittsburgh Magazine. She answers 12 random questions ranging from her most memorable vacation to who should portray her in a movie.

Tax Credit Brought Mister Rogers Flick to Pittsburgh

The granting of the credit means the majority, if not most of the movie starring Tom Hanks, will indeed be shot in the Pittsburgh area.

Compelling World Cup Worth a Periodic Embrace

The competition is as fierce as the fans are passionate and both can be appreciated without a firm grasp of the details.

Jeff Goldblum Day is Causing a Stir in the ’Burgh

Local venues will be celebrating the native actor Friday with Goldblum-themed merchandise and events.

Willow Restaurant in the North Hills Lands a New Chef

Aaron Allen comes to Willow by way of 2-star Daniel in New York City. Plus, Greta Harmon joins the staff of the Ohio Township hideaway as the restaurant's new bar manager.

Pittsburgh Developer Offers Location for Riverfront Swings

A developer in the South Side may fulfill KDKA anchor Ken Rice’s wish for shaded benches along the city’s riverfronts.

Head to the North Hills for Two Blooming Garden Tours

The Wexford Garden and Pond Tour and the Southern Butler County Garden Club tour both take place this weekend.

I Do, Now Let’s Have Some BBQ

A five-course meal doesn’t fit with every wedding. These laid-back couples opted for casual — and delicious — cuisine perfect for their outdoor and barn receptions.

Expert Opinions on How HQ2 Could Change Pittsburgh

From jobs to housing to technology, six areas which would be impacted if Amazon chose Pittsburgh for its HQ2.

The 400-Word Review: The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter

The Netflix exclusive Josh Brolin flick is pleasant enough, but light on laughs.

The 400-Word Review: The First Purge

The prequel to the horror series has plenty to say. It's just no good at saying it.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


America’s “Gratest” Celebration of Cheese is Coming to Pittsburgh

America’s “Gratest” Celebration of Cheese is Coming to Pittsburgh

Sample cheese of every rind during the American Cheese Society’s annual Festival of Cheese.

Comments

Watch: 12 Questions with WTAE's Sally Wiggin

Watch: 12 Questions with WTAE's Sally Wiggin

The WTAE anchor was voted Best Journalist by readers of Pittsburgh Magazine. She answers 12 random questions ranging from her most memorable vacation to who should portray her in a movie.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
A Pop-Up Bar in Pittsburgh that Serves a Sober Alternative

A Pop-Up Bar in Pittsburgh that Serves a Sober Alternative

Empath provides the vibe and social space of a bar, as well as stepped up beverage service ... without the alcohol.

Comments

Willow Restaurant in the North Hills Lands a New Chef

Willow Restaurant in the North Hills Lands a New Chef

Aaron Allen comes to Willow by way of 2-star Daniel in New York City. Plus, Greta Harmon joins the staff of the Ohio Township hideaway as the restaurant's new bar manager.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Six Underrated Kennywood Rides You Need to Try Again

Six Underrated Kennywood Rides You Need to Try Again

Leave enough time in your next visit to Kennywood to revisit some old favorites and these underrated gems.

Comments

The Five Best Spots to Get Pittsburgh-Themed Merchandise

The Five Best Spots to Get Pittsburgh-Themed Merchandise

Looking to show off your Pittsburgh love? Get your favorite city printed on basically anything at these local shops.

Comments


Stop Using Uber and Lyft, Renting a Bike is Better

Stop Using Uber and Lyft, Renting a Bike is Better

You'll save money and have an easier time hopping between neighborhoods on a Healthy Ride bicycle.

Comments

Five Essential July Events in Pittsburgh

Five Essential July Events in Pittsburgh

Parking-lot punk, polished Potter and other July attractions.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Compelling World Cup Worth a Periodic Embrace

Compelling World Cup Worth a Periodic Embrace

The competition is as fierce as the fans are passionate and both can be appreciated without a firm grasp of the details.

Comments

Pirates Can Be Show Stoppers if They Follow Brault's Lead

Pirates Can Be Show Stoppers if They Follow Brault's Lead

A Broadway musical about the life and times of the Pittsburgh Pirates? The idea might not be as farfetched as you think.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: Skyscraper

The 400-Word Review: Skyscraper

If you want "Die Hard" with half the brains but three times the building, the new Dwayne Johnson flick will do a passing job.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter

The 400-Word Review: The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter

The Netflix exclusive Josh Brolin flick is pleasant enough, but light on laughs.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
I Do, Now Let’s Have Some BBQ

I Do, Now Let’s Have Some BBQ

A five-course meal doesn’t fit with every wedding. These laid-back couples opted for casual — and delicious — cuisine perfect for their outdoor and barn receptions.

Comments

Want Unique Wedding Photos? Track Down the Furries

Want Unique Wedding Photos? Track Down the Furries

Anthrocon returns this weekend for its 22nd annual convention. Here’s the story of one local couple who took advantage of the fact their wedding coincided with the annual gathering.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Head to the North Hills for Two Blooming Garden Tours

Head to the North Hills for Two Blooming Garden Tours

The Wexford Garden and Pond Tour and the Southern Butler County Garden Club tour both take place this weekend.

Comments

Cocktails in the Garden: How to Plant a Happy Hour

Cocktails in the Garden: How to Plant a Happy Hour

Plant and grow the ingredients you need to make a fresh summer drink.

Comments