Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse Merges With The Robotics Foundry

-- New organization will help to accelerate economic growth through digital and robotic innovation

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse, a non-profit organization whose members include the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a consortium of member firms and three leading Pennsylvania Universities, today announced that it has merged with The Robotics Foundry, an independent, non-profit economic development organization formed to accelerate the growth of the emerging, agile robotics industry.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20041215/CLW003ALOGO )

The merged organization will be known as The Technology Collaborative. The Technology Collaborative will retain all staff members from each organization and is currently seeking new office space. In the meantime, The Technology Collaborative will operate out of The Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse's current location in The Regional Enterprise Tower, Downtown.

The National Center for Defense Robotics, a subsidiary of The Robotics Foundry, will become a program initiative of The Technology Collaborative so that it can continue to develop relationships with the Department of Defense to secure federally funded research projects.

David Ruppersberger, former President and Chief Executive Officer of The Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse, will serve as President and CEO for The Technology Collaborative. Bill Thomasmeyer, former President of The Robotics Foundry, will assume the title of Executive Vice President for The Technology Collaborative and President, National Center for Defense Robotics program. Jared Cohon, President of Carnegie Mellon University, and Mark Nordenberg, Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, who served as co-chairs for the Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse and The Robotics Foundry, will continue in that capacity for The Technology Collaborative.

"This merger is highly resonant for both organizations," stated Charles Queenan, Chairman, Allegheny Conference on Community Development. "Agile robotics technology is a natural extension to and reinforces the Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse's current scope, given the nature of the components and technology used to build agile robotics systems. Moreover, the combination allows both organizations to expand their geographic reach and impact, and presents a significant opportunity to integrate the expertise of our advanced manufacturing companies," he added.

Richard Overmoyer, Deputy Secretary for Technology Investment, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, said, "The merger is a win-win for Pennsylvania's robotics and digital technology companies. Not only will it streamline economic development efforts to attract companies and bring jobs to Pennsylvania, it will also secure a balanced mix of federal, state and local funding to support the growth of Pennsylvania's world-class assets in robotics, advanced electronics, cyber security, and other digital technologies. The combination will provide robotics companies with immediate access to Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse's existing program capabilities and expertise and provide digital technology companies with greater visibility into the emerging agile robotics, better enabling them to penetrate this critical market."

Rich Lunak, former Group President of McKesson Automation, commented, "The Technology Collaborative creates an opportunity for Pennsylvania to develop an effective end-to-end strategy for integrating digital technologies developed by the state's universities into commercial products that are designed, engineered, produced, marketed and sold by companies based in the Commonwealth."

In 2005, The Technology Collaborative will continue to broaden its focus beyond western Pennsylvania, driven in large part by an innovative research and development partnership that includes Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University, Drexel University, and Lehigh University.

About The Technology Collaborative

The Technology Collaborative is a non-profit economic development organization whose mission is to help create Pennsylvania's new economy by developing synergistic clusters that leverage the region's world-class assets in Robotics, Advanced Electronics, Cyber Security and other digital technologies.

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