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Philadelphia University Nets Funding For Research And Innovation Center

Philadelphia University has received a grant totaling $1,255,500 from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to establish the Pennsylvania Advanced Textile Research and Innovation Center (PATRIC) on its campus in Philadelphia. The university is collaborating with Drexel University and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP), both also based in Philadelphia, to create PATRIC, which will focus on research, development and testing of primarily textile-based advanced material systems for various biomedical and human protection applications. Drexel University will be involved primarily in the biomedical area. BFTP/SEP is part of a statewide network supporting technology-based entrepreneurs and established enterprises through economic investments, knowledge access and research and commercialization networks.

Eight Pennsylvania-based industry partners will be the initial beneficiaries of the applied research conducted at the center, which will be directed toward technology development and commercialization. Additional partners will be added from throughout the Northeast United States.

“We are extremely pleased that DCED has provided this funding to launch PATRIC and appreciative of the work put into this proposal by Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania,” said Stephen Spinelli Jr., president, Philadelphia University. “It will enable us to further advance innovative textiles research and technology development and will support applied textile research that is not being conducted anywhere else in the United States, giving Pennsylvania industries a clear, competitive advantage.”

A new Biomedical Textiles Structures Laboratory will join Philadelphia University’s existing Laboratory for Engineered Human Protection and its Institute for Textile and Apparel Product Safety as part of the center, providing facilities for conducting activities relevant to three main areas of concentration: nanofiber technology for biomedical devices; human comfort interactions with protective textile systems; and toxic agent identification in consumer textiles and apparel.

“An exciting concentration will be in the area of nanotextile structures and their impact on advanced tissue engineering,” said David Brookstein, dean of the university’s School of Engineering and Textiles. “This area holds tremendous potential for the development of new technologies for Pennsylvania industries.”

 “Philadelphia University will be working in partnership with other colleges and universities, and other Keystone Innovation Zones and applied researchers will be added as the program develops,” said Jeffrey D. Senese, the university’s vice president for academic affairs. “ By providing textiles structures and advanced fibrous materials technologies, PATRIC will be a proving ground for new industries in Pennsylvania, as well as significantly expanding the economic opportunities for existing companies.”

August 5, 2008