The Robotics Factory, an initiative dedicated to creating, accelerating, and scaling robotics companies in the Pittsburgh region, will move to a new location at the Tech Forge building in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Supported by Innovation Works, the Pittsburgh Robotics Network, and the Southwestern Pennsylvania New Economy Collaborative, the Robotics Factory will serve as a vital collaborative space, bolstering manufacturing capabilities and helping companies expedite commercialization of their products. The new location at Tech Forge is situated in the heart of Pittsburgh’s “Robotics Row,” which boasts a high density of robotics organizations in all stages of growth working across various industries.
The Robotics Factory is a key element of the $63 million Build Back Better Regional Challenge grant awarded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to the Southwestern Pennsylvania New Economy Collaborative. It is composed of three distinct programs: Create, Accelerate, and Scale. The Create program cultivates an innovative space for entrepreneurs, technology experts, researchers, and industry professionals to address industry challenges through workshops. The Accelerate program propels up to six pre-seed robotics startups with funding, mentorship, and resources through a seven-month intensive program. The Scale program provides industry-leading expertise in product prototyping and services, supporting companies in developing production-ready products by utilizing the resources of the Robotics Factory.
The first batch of six companies chosen for the Accelerate program will relocate to the Robotics Row location as soon as possible. It will provide in-house design for manufacturing, supply chain management, prototyping support, and access to the region’s comprehensive manufacturing resources. By empowering companies to incorporate manufacturing considerations in the initial design stages, the Robotics Factory will expedite the deployment of autonomous technologies and enable companies to attain scalability.
“We conducted a thorough site identification and selection process, evaluating sites on the basis of a range of parameters,” said Ven Raju, President & CEO of Innovation Works. “The Lawrenceville site best aligns with the overarching strategic goals of the Build Back Better regional challenge grant while meeting functional, operational and budgetary requirements.
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“Pittsburgh’s transformation from an industrial powerhouse to a 21st century technology hub is a testament to the region’s incredible talent, world renowned research institutions, and a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem,” he continued. “Over the course of the last four decades, the region’s robotics cluster has been at the forefront of this transformation. The Robotics Factory in its new home will serve as a centrally located community resource to support robotics companies from inception to scale, catalyzing job growth and energizing the regional economy.”
The dedicated home for the Robotics Factory fortifies the region’s robotics cluster and reinforces Pittsburgh’s position as a global leader in robotics innovation.
“The Robotics Factory’s arrival at Tech Forge is a pivotal development in our region’s ability to support, accelerate, and scale robotics companies,” said Jenn Apicella, Interim Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Robotics Network. “The Robotics Factory will serve as the epicenter for innovation and commercial business growth for companies and startups developing autonomous and robotic solutions. Its strategic location will foster unparalleled collaboration opportunities, leading to new and impactful commercialized industry use and adoption. This move further solidifies our robotics ecosystem’s impact on a global scale, while driving economic growth and job creation right here, anchored in the Pittsburgh region.”