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Penn State New Kensington announces plans for innovation lab space

BYBY MELINA DRUGA  |  NOVEMBER 4, 2020   | Pennsylvania Business Report

Penn State New Kensington recently held a virtual groundbreaking for its 15,044-square-foot innovation and manufacturing lab space.

The Digital Foundry at New Kensington, designed by Pittsburgh architecture firm R3A, will be located in downtown New Kensington and will be a center for developing cutting-edge technologies that improve business. It will be accessible to students and faculty, entrepreneurs, school districts, and people seeking to develop new professional skills.

Once completed, the building will house hardware and software stations, classrooms, an advanced computer lab, production areas for product incubation, demonstration spaces, and a factory simulator.

“The addition of the Digital Foundry at New Kensington will serve as a model for economic rehabilitation, so similar Rust Belt towns like New Kensington can experience an increase in jobs and new skill sets while adopting a digital infrastructure,” Kevin Snider, Penn State New Kensington chancellor, said.

The Richard King Mellon Foundation awarded the university a $5.5 million grant to fund the lab. The lab is a collaborative effort between Penn State New Kensington and the Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland with the support of the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corp.

Penn State provided a $1 million matching gift through the Economic Development Matching Program.

The lab is expected to be completed late next year.

Sherri McCleary will serve as the inaugural director to develop and oversee the new lab space.

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