Innovation Institute Launched at the University of Pittsburgh

Issue Date: 
November 18, 2013

Patricia E. BeesonThe University of Pittsburgh has founded the Innovation Institute to advance Pitt’s successes in entrepreneurship, commercialization, and economic development. The new institute will bring together under one umbrella the existing Office of Technology Management, Office of Enterprise Development, and the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence. By consolidating the University’s resources for innovation and encouraging collaboration, the institute will provide a new level of support for entrepreneurial initiatives on campus and throughout the region.

Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson made the announcement Nov. 14. “Innovation is essential for propelling the University to become an even stronger leader in education, research, and regional development,” she said. “Forming this comprehensive institute will allow previously separate units to integrate their resources and avoid duplication of services. The Innovation Institute’s establishment is part of a broader effort to cultivate an environment that empowers faculty, students, and staff to reach greater heights in their innovative research and entrepreneurial activities.”

Beeson has named Marc S. Malandro interim director of the Innovation Institute. Malandro is Pitt’s associate vice chancellor for technology management and commercialization and director of both the Office of Technology Management and Office of Enterprise Development. A national search will be conducted for a permanent director of the Innovation Institute.

“The Office of Technology Management and the Office of Enterprise Development will continue to work with faculty, staff, and students to facilitate the commercialization of new technologies and the formation of new companies originating at the University,” Malandro said. “The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence will continue to support and educate business leaders in the regional entrepreneurial community. It is clear there are strong synergies between the groups and, working together, we will be able to maximize our impact.”

A University-wide entity, the Innovation Institute will be located in the Gardner Steel Conference Center at Thackeray and O’Hara Streets, Oakland. It will serve as a primary support center in the following areas.


The institute will promote student engagement by establishing research and internship programs related to innovation and entrepreneurship. It also will assist academic departments with infusing innovation and entrepreneurship skills into their curricula; develop non-degree programs for innovators and entrepreneurs within the University and the broader community; and train new entrepreneurs and small-business owners within the region to be successful.


The institute will develop and implement strategies that will promote collaborations within the University and between University innovators and the business community. In addition, it will coordinate with other entities promoting local economic development. This may include cohosting events to bring the University community together with the business community or forming new types of industry-university partnerships on research and development initiatives.


The institute will support the University’s commercialization efforts by introducing technologies and faculty inventors to companies capable of developing University intellectual property into products and services through existing companies or new start-up companies.


The institute will serve as a conduit for the University community and regional business community to learn about educational programs and resources available at the University, including existing connections between the University and regional entrepreneurs and companies.

Pitt’s leadership in innovation and entrepreneurship has already had a significant impact:

• 98 startup companies have been launched around Pitt innovations since 1996;

• More than 800 startup companies in the region have been guided by the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence since 1993;

• 541 issued patents are in Pitt’s U.S. patent portfolio; and

• 1,400 educational programs have been attended by 40,000 business leaders since 1993.

The Innovation Institute will continue to build on these successes. Visit for more information.