PHILADELPHIA--()--The University City Science Center, the oldest and largest urban research park in the nation, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013.
“As we embark on our 50th anniversary, we have two goals”
A 501(c) 3 nonprofit, the Science Center supports entrepreneurship, innovation and technology commercialization in the life sciences and emerging technologies. It accomplishes this by providing office and lab space, access to investors and business-building advice, and equally important – a community of entrepreneurship and innovation. Together, this support helps companies move technology into the marketplace where it can have a positive impact on people’s lives.
Highlights of the year-long celebration will include: the introduction of a new 50th anniversary logo, hosting of the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) International Conference in September, a call for nominations for a regional Innovators Walk of Fame, and a 50th anniversary celebration scheduled for Oct. 17, 2013.
“As we embark on our 50th anniversary, we have two goals,” says Science Center President and CEO Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA. “Not only do we want to honor our past, and the scores of innovators who have walked our halls and toiled in our labs, but we want to look ahead to the future of innovation in our great region. Computer scientist Alan Kay, who worked for three iconic tech companies: Apple, Disney and HP says: ‘The best way to predict the future is to invent it.’ As the Science Center celebrates its 50th anniversary, we look forward to working with our region’s entrepreneurs and tech innovators as they invent our global future.”
The Science Center is regional and collaborative by nature and design. Nine months after the University of Pennsylvania President appointed a committee to study the concept of a science center in University City, five eds and meds organizations joined forces to file articles of incorporation for the Science Center on October 28, 1963: University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, Presbyterian Hospital, and Temple University. They were joined in 1964 by Bryn Mawr College, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Lehigh University, Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital, and Thomas Jefferson University as the initial shareholders. Today the Science Center has 31 shareholders in Pennsylvania, NJ and Delaware.
Over the course of its 50-year history, the Science Center has grown from one building at 3401 Market Street that is now home to Drexel University’s ExCITe Center to 15 buildings on the stretch of Market Street that is officially known as the Avenue of Technology. The Science Center’s 16th building, at the corner of 38th and Market, is currently under construction. The Science Center is scheduled to break ground on its 17th building, a residential project at 3601 Market Street, this fall.
The Science Center pioneered the concept of business incubation. Graduate organizations and current residents of the University City Science Center’s Port business incubators have created more than 15,000 jobs that remain in the Greater Philadelphia region today and contribute more than $9 billion to the regional economy annually.