Last fall, we hosted a program at Penn State Harrisburg featuring a keynote discussion with the Brookings Institute, who presented findings from their report, Ideas for Pennsylvania’s Innovation Policy, and provided an in-depth keynote comparison and analysis of Pennsylvania’s innovation economy and its leading competition. Throughout the program, we emphasized the need for Pennsylvania to establish an innovation agenda, and urged our Grow PA advocates to share this need with their lawmakers.

Our efforts worked.

Last month, Governor Wolf made remarks about his Feb. 4th budget address showcasing the Brookings report when he announced a $12.35 million increase in funding for technology and innovation programs, including $2.35 million for Invent Penn State. We applaud the Governor for this funding.

But our work is not done. We further encourage the Administration, House, and Senate leaders in the General Assembly to continue to work on a modern innovation strategy for the entire Commonwealth that includes additional funding.

This coming March, the four caucuses of the Policy Committees will meet jointly to host Brookings and Grow PA advocates to hear stories of innovation from around Pennsylvania and learn what the state should be doing to keep us from falling further behind peer states such as Ohio, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

In May, Grow PA Champions will meet with House and Senate legislators to advance the innovation agenda and urge members to address this important issue as Pennsylvania continues to lose out to competing states and regions for jobs and population.