WEST CHESTER (April 22) – Senator Dinniman announced on Thursday that the Commonwealth has expanded Chester County’s Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) to include West Chester University, Cheyney University, the Franklin Commons education and enterprise facility in Phoenixville and Tredyffrin’s Evolve IP Corporate Center.
Dinniman said the successful expansion of Chester County’s KIZ will keep the local economy vibrant and ahead of the competition by providing tax credits and commercialization opportunities to start-up companies in the information technology and life-science industries that are already responsible for thousands of highly paid and highly skilled jobs in Chester and Montgomery counties.
“One of the reasons why Forbes Magazine ranked Montgomery and Chester counties as the 9th and 10th best places to live in the country is the many excellent jobs provided by local cutting-edge companies both large and small,” Dinniman said. “But we cannot rest on our laurels. The challenge in this new economy is not only to keep great jobs here but also to create new ones by attracting and supporting entrepreneurs looking to launch new companies – companies that could eventually become the next Siemens Medical Systems or Cephalon.”
“Keystone Innovation Zones specifically do this by linking start-up companies with local universities, banks and other lenders, and economic development organizations, all in order to foster innovation and to bring ideas from the drawing board and research lab to the marketplace,” according to Dinniman, who is a member of the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority which oversees and reviews all 29 Keystone Innovation Zones throughout Pennsylvania.
“The expanded KIZ is great news for Chester County, and I am especially delighted that the expansion includes Franklin Commons and that the Phoenixville area will share in the benefits that come with exciting and new business opportunities.”
The Chester County Economic Development Council is the fiscal agent for Chester County’s Keystone Innovation Zone; its new boundaries will include both West Chester University’s main campus and its Graduate Business Center at 1160 McDermott Drive near Route 202.