Over 250 regional business professionals gathered last week at Urban Outfitters, Inc. in the Navy Yard for the Chamber’s “Regional Spotlight: Inside the Navy Yard” event. The program, which is part of the new, four-part Regional Spotlight series, examined the economic impact of the Navy Yard’s revitalization project and explored the unique industries that are emerging along the waterfront.

The program featured a Yorn-enabled panel discussion with Henry C. Foley, Executive Director, Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster, Vice President for Research, The Pennsylvania State University; John S. Gattuso, Senior Vice President and Regional Director, Urban and National Region, Liberty Property Trust; John Grady, President, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation; and Patricia C. Woody, Department Head, Machinery Research and Engineering, Carderock Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center. The discussion was moderated by Tracey Matisak, WHYY Host.

Yorn is a program that allows attendees the opportunity to interact with the speakers through posting real-time comments during a program or event. Throughout this program, audience members visited yorn.com/gpcc on their mobile devices to submit questions to the panelists and rate their experience.

The following questions were submitted by audience members through Yorn both during and after the program. Following the program, the panelists took time to respond to the remaining questions.

Q: What does the future of the Navy Yard look like? How much more growth and job creation can we expect?

A: (John Grady) We think over the long term, the Navy Yard should support 20,000-30,000 jobs.

Q: Why is the campus atmosphere important to research and development efforts by the Navy? How closely do you collaborate with defense contractors also located at the Navy Yard?

A: (Patricia C. Woody) The campus atmosphere is important because of the proximity to some of the greatest engineering universities in the country. Within a 25-mile radius, we have Penn, Drexel, Temple, Villanova, Delaware, Rowan, etc. Researchers and the Navy’s research dollars are typically “shared” with academia. We have strengthened our ties with the local universities since we have had research as part of our mission. Furthermore, we are actively engaged with GPIC and BFTP. BFTP utilizes us to review and collaborate with some of their innovative projects.

We collaborate with 100% of the defense contractors. As a matter of fact, I would say that the defense contractors are located at the Navy Yard because of us.

A: (Grady) The quality of the environment, including the parks and open space, the historic and attractive new buildings, trails along the river, bike paths and the growing on-site amenities like food and beverage options create a really unique environment that help us attract and retain workers.

Q: How does the mix of organizations locating and growing at the Navy Yard differ from the rest of the Greater Philadelphia region’s economy? Is there any intentional planning now or going forward to develop the Navy Yard as a regional hub for energy efficiency?

A: (Grady) As you would expect, in general the mix is very similar to the existing economy that we s