Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, will lead a three-year, $1.5 million initiative to spur business innovation and support entrepreneurs across the Erie region. The effort will boost small businesses and start-ups by creating a network of educational, industry and community institutions that are committed to improving the region’s economy.
Process and Data Automation, an Erie-based engineering and data-services firm, will relocate to Penn State Behrend’s Knowledge Park this spring. The company, which provides full-service industrial control systems for the food and beverage, metals, pet food and wastewater industries, withdrew a bid to purchase the vacant Ridgefield Elementary School in November.
It was only 1 mile that separated Cybersonics Inc. from Penn State Behrend in 2009, but according to Jeff Vaitekunas, vice president of research and development at Cybersonics, being located across the highway from the University just wasn’t cutting it.
“I looked across that street, and when I saw those buildings I knew there was a great opportunity,” he said.
Google Glass had nothing on the VuMan 3, a portable computer worn by Marines at Camp Pendleton in 1993. The system – a processor worn on a belt and wired to a headband display – led mechanics through a 50-page inspection checklist for amphibious tractors.
The checklist had 600 data points, which took six hours to complete. A second Marine then had to transcribe the notes.