Agreement Spans Talent Development, Technology Commercialization and Applied Research Competition


The University of Pittsburgh and Philips have formed a wide-ranging collaboration that will benefit both organizations through talent development, solving critical healthcare problems, and technology commercialization.

Philips, a global leader in health technology, strives to make the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation, with a goal to improve the lives of 3 billion people a year by 2025.  Entering the region in 2007 with the acquisition of a Murrysville-based sleep and respiratory device manufacturer, Philips has been growing its Western Pennsylvania presence ever since.

“Like Pitt, Philips is committed to improving lives through innovation,” says Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “I am thrilled to pair our University’s expertise in biomedical research with Philips’ remarkable capacity to develop groundbreaking technologies. Together, we’ll work side-by-side to advance health care solutions that will improve—and even transform—people’s lives.”

“Philips is incredibly proud of this alliance,” said John Frank, CEO of Philips Sleep and Respiratory business. “It’s a natural fit given our commitment to improving lives through innovation, both in the solutions we offer to our customers and the ideas we foster within our own organization and community. The relationship will allow for enhanced collaboration, entrepreneurship and recruitment opportunities with such a reputable and forward-thinking university as Pitt.”

The partnership has three primary components:

  1. Innovation Internships: The Innovation Institute will vet intern candidates for Philips who have participated in the University’s innovation and entrepreneurship programs and competitions. High potential students will be introduced to Philips talent recruiters and connected with potential opportunities to serve as interns at Philips.
  2. Technology Commercialization: Philips will share specific innovation needs with Pitt, who will identify matches in its intellectual property portfolio – either existing or in development – and arrange meetings between the Pitt investigators and Philips to explore licensing, sponsored research or other development opportunities.
  3. Applied Research Competition: Philips and Pitt will define problems in health care and encourage Pitt faculty to submit proposals for solving those problems. Selected proposal teams will be assigned mentors from Pitt, Philips and the local community to develop pitches covering these submissions. Winning teams will receive development funding from Philips to advance these selected innovations.

Pitt and Philips have a history of mutually beneficial collaborations. In 2005, Philips acquired Stentor Inc., a Pitt spinout based on technology for storing, managing and distributing radiology images, that was jointly funded by Pitt and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

The University and Philips are also currently collaborating in a clinical study of a device to improve breathing for people suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Philips also is a participant company in Pitt’s Co-op program operated through the Swanson School of Engineering, where students rotate between school and full-time work assignments.