Penn State Behrend’s Innovation Commons – an idea laboratory, maker space, technology playground, legal office, marketing agency and entrepreneurs’ gathering spot rolled under one roof – has opened to support small businesses and start-ups.
The Erie region’s economy appears to have hit a plateau, said Ken Louie, director of the Economic Research Institute of Erie and an associate professor of economics at Penn State Behrend’s Black School of Business. Though six of the eight economic indicators he tracks with the Erie Leading Index showed growth in the second quarter of 2015, the index itself rose by just 0.05 percent.
Every autumn, the full moon takes on an orange color due to its closeness to the horizon. But this year’s “Harvest Moon” will be even more special.
During the late evening hours on Sunday, Sept. 27, the moon will pass through the center of the Earth’s shadow, yielding a rare total lunar eclipse. This will be the last opportunity to see a total eclipse of a super moon until 2033.
Penn State Behrend has begun construction of a $112,000 “Innovation Commons,” a collaborative lab where students, faculty members and industry partners can develop product ideas, create prototypes and consult with lawyers, bankers, marketing experts and others who can support entrepreneurial projects.
The Economic Research Institute of Erie, a research center of the Black School of Business at Penn State Behrend, has partnered with the Erie Community Foundation to provide data and analysis for Erie Vital Signs, a benchmarking program that tracks the region’s performance in seven key areas.
The move sharpens the program’s local focus. The analysis previously had been done at the University of Pittsburgh.
The Yahn Planetarium at Penn State Behrend, a 55-seat astronomy theater, opens Thursday, Nov. 6, after more than a year of renovations and improvements. The facility, housed in the School of Science at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, expands the original mission of the planetarium, a fixture in Erie since 1959.
The Erie County Historical Society closed the planetarium in 2013 to focus on other holdings. Penn State Behrend took ownership of the equipment, which complements the college’s outreach programs, including the popular Open House Nights in Astronomy.