Innovation Institute and Idea Foundry Formalize Partnership

Issue Date: 
September 22, 2014

TheInnovation University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute and Idea Foundry, an economic development organization, have formed a partnership to commercialize Pitt innovations.

The partnership will enhance an already existing relationship between the two organizations, said Marc Malandro, interim director of the Innovation Institute and Pitt’s associate vice chancellor for technology management and commercialization.

“This is a great opportunity for us at Pitt to combine our own expertise and resources with the knowledge and resources of the well-respected Idea Foundry to enhance the commercialization process,” Malandro said.

The new partnership will enable both organizations to work together from the beginning of the commercialization process as Pitt Innovators—a group of University faculty, staff, and students who actively participate in the innovation commercialization process—submit invention disclosures to the Innovation Institute for commercial consideration.

TheMarc Malandro Idea Foundry will work with institute staff to evaluate the commercial readiness of select innovations and to assist in mentoring innovators through the institute’s Pitt Ventures program. Later in the process, the Idea Foundry will advance some of these innovations through its own acceleration and funding programs.

The two organizations have a long-standing relationship, said Michael Matesic, Idea Foundry president.

“Over the years, we have worked with many dedicated and creative innovators at the University of Pittsburgh,” Matesic said. “With this new formal role, we look forward to helping more life-changing technologies come to market. The Innovation Institute’s team and approach align well with Idea Foundry’s proven model, which will lead to more opportunities for Pitt innovators.”

Malandro said the “Idea Foundry has and will continue to be a great friend of the University and its entrepreneurial efforts. This partnership serves to enhance that relationship.”

Launched in 2013, Pitt’s Innovation Institute ( serves as the hub of innovation development, commercialization, and entrepreneurial activities on campus. 

Idea Foundry, established in 2002, is a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit economic development organization focused on creating jobs in the life sciences, entertainment, education, social enterprise, advanced materials, and water sectors. It has more than 150 companies in its portfolio.