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Over the past three years, the Innovation Institute has expanded its outreach and educational programming for faculty and students while simultaneously building partnerships with industry, entrepreneurs, investors and economic development groups to help translate the groundbreaking research at Pitt into innovations that benefit society, improve people’s lives and enhance the economic vitality of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

The impact of these efforts is reflected in the increasing number of invention disclosures being submitted by our world class faculty and students, the number of licenses and startups executed for Pitt-developed innovations and the significantly increased participation in the Institute’s growing array of educational programs and startup business pitch competitions.

To continue growing the University’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, the increased involvement of Pitt alumni is crucial. Thousands of Pitt alumni are either successful entrepreneurs, or in a position to offer professional mentoring to Pitt faculty and student innovators in areas ranging from intellectual property and business law, to marketing, sales, finance, human resources, and more.

The Innovation Institute is also seeking business, market and technical input on individual Pitt innovations to help us prioritize our portfolio and focus on the best opportunities in order to reduce the time to market for these discoveries. A brief review of an innovation by an industry “expert,” can provide a great value to the University and keep alum connected to the innovation ecosystem.

The Panther Innovation Network program is envisioned as a forum for alumni to plug into the University’s research, innovation and commercialization ecosystem and stay connected to Pitt faculty and new generations of students. It will provide a new and meaningful way to give back to the University beyond providing financial support.