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Support of Digital and Robotics Cluster Shifts to Innovation Works: David Ruppersberger to Be Director of Joint Economic Development Initiatives for Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH May 23, 2012 Pittsburgh

"It will be a smooth transition from the Technology Collaborative’s programs to Innovation Works, as IW already provides vital investment and business assistance to start-up robotics and digital technology companies," said Rich Lunak, president and CEO of Innovation Works. "Since there is already a fair amount of co-investment and mentoring to companies supported by both organizations, I’m confident the stakeholders in the electronics and robotics community will find this to be a good match for their needs," Mr. Lunak said. 

Since 1999, TTC (resulting from the merger of the Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse and the Pittsburgh Robotics Foundry) has been delivering programs and services that have helped make the digital and robotics cluster an important part of the region’s innovation economy.  TTC portfolio companies have generated more than 3,100 high-value jobs and attracted more than $525 million in follow-on funding.   

David Ruppersberger Carnegie Mellon University University of Pittsburgh City of Pittsburgh

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Carnegie Mellon University

"President Cohon and I have worked closely with David Ruppersberger for many years, as the co-chairs of the TTC board, and we have enormous respect for him. He will bring a deep reservoir of experience, connections and expertise to his new role as the leader of joint technology efforts for our two universities, and one of his most important responsibilities is to provide support for Mayor Ravenstahl’s  PowerUp Pittsburgh initiative," said University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg.  "Our shared goals include attracting and retaining top talent, spinning out new companies, growing high-paying jobs, and extending the benefits of the innovation economy throughout the broader community. "

The City recently hired an innovation strategist who will work directly with Mr. Ruppersberger to help start-ups go from idea mode to job-creating mode.  The hire is part of the mayor’s and local leaders’ PowerUp Pittsburgh initiative, which seeks to improve collaboration across sectors in order to capitalize on the city’s burgeoning tech- and innovation-based start-up community.  From helping entrepreneurs find an affordable space to start their businesses to providing funding and technical and referral support, the new position will bring forth available City assets that can help entrepreneurs. 

"Part of PowerUp Pittsburgh’s mission is to make sure that local government provides as much support as possible to the city’s growing innovation and technology economy," Ravenstahl said. "This partnership has already experienced early successes, and with the hiring of two unique positions at the City and universities, we are poised to see more jobs and economic development result." 



SOURCE Innovation Works, Inc.

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