The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG) has been awarded a $500,000 "i6 Challenge" grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to create and expand cluster-based programs from proof-of-concept through commercialization all related to health information technology (HIT) through the Economic Development Administration's (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program.
HIT is a lucrative, high-growth sector offering the potential for significant job creation. Because of combined pressures from consumers, policy makers and the medical community, healthcare providers are increasingly turning to HIT as a means to deliver improved health outcomes simultaneously with greater efficiencies and lower costs. Those factors alone mean that HIT will have steady if not explosive growth in a business sector that currently represents nearly 18% of the US economy and is getting even larger.
The grant to PLSG will fund four major tasks: gap analysis of where HIT is needed; entrepreneur training and education; assessment of new opportunities for HIT; and workforce development.
"The grant is nicely timed as it coincides with National Health IT Week," said Diana Cugliari, Vice President of Finance and grant developer at the PLSG. National Health IT Week unites healthcare stakeholders in expressing the benefits of this technology, which improves the quality of healthcare delivery, increases patient safety, decreases medical errors, and strengthens the interaction between patients and healthcare providers.
"We are very pleased and excited to begin work on this important HIT project," Cugliari continued. "This i6 Challenge grant will allow us to understand the region's strengths and weakness, allowing us to develop a call to action to make the most of this promising and growing HIT field."
"We see this as the first step in making the region a hotbed for HIT. Maximizing our knowledge regarding HIT promises to create jobs, increase commercialization of products and services, and further the development of Pittsburgh, and the region, as a national leader in the life sciences," said Jim Jordan, President and CEO of PLSG.
About Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG) (www.plsg.com)
The PLSG helps entrepreneurs grow their companies and returns results to our region and investor community, that's our mission. Our domain-experienced staff provides the knowledge, connection, and capital needed to navigate a complex healthcare system – ensuring commercial success.