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Pennsylvania Governor Promotes Technology Initiative

February 13, 1998

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge recently announced the release of The Technology 21 Report — The Keystone Spirit: Putting Technology to Work. Commissioned by Ridge and the Ben Franklin/IRC Partnership Board, the Technology 21 initiative is an industry-led project that will implement a comprehensive technology policy for Pennsylvania.

The Tech 21 report calls for:

  • A public/private fund to provide companies with a Pennsylvania source of capital;
  • Aggressive marketing to develop a common theme of Pennsylvania as a high-tech state;
  • Attraction of anchor firms to create a spawning ground where local high-tech firms can excel. Firms that would serve as anchors for a cluster of high-tech companies should be targeted for expansion and location in Pennsylvania;
  • Tech communities to seek opportunities that will make Pennsylvania a living laboratory for the next generation of technology, primarily information technology, products and services;
  • A technology-ready workforce to ensure that a supply of technically skilled workers can meet the demand of technology-related jobs;
  • The tax and regulatory climate to continue to change to establish a true technology-intensive business climate;
  • A seamless delivery system to transform independent service provider operations into an integrated and collaborative statewide network; and
  • Emerging technology partnerships to closely link research institutions to federal and commercial projects and engage in greater inter-institutional collaboration and intellectual property and commercialization strategies.
  • The Tech 21 team includes technology leaders from six broadly defined industry clusters: advanced manufacturing; advanced materials; agribusiness; biotechnology; environmental technology; and information technology.
  • Ridge also announced that the state will request $10 million from the legislature to create a Catalyst Stage Fund. The Pennsylvania School Employees Pension System has committed $30 million to the Fund and Safeguard Scientifics Inc., a private venture capital firm that will administer the Fund, has committed another $10 million. The Fund will provide gap financing in the $250,000 to $2 million range.
  • The governor has been conducting a series of events and announcements, tagged as the "21 Days of Technology," to recognize the importance of technology and high-tech firms to the state's economy.