By Sarah Borys
SC Staff Writer
For many students who live on campus and are not familiar with the town, it is easy to overlook the Innovation Center. Even for those of us who have lived here our entire lives and frequently travel Route 447, the Center may still be a mystery.
The Center’s formal name is the Pocono Mountains Keystone Innovation Zone. The Keystone Innovation Zone, along with the University Research and Business Park, is a part of the ESU Center for Research and Economic Development (CFRED) initiative.
According to ESU’s CFRED website, the Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) was established “to create innovative technologies and new entrepreneurs, utilizing the Commonwealth’s world class colleges and universities.”
“The KIZs are geographically designated zones that are established in communities that host institutions of higher education. These zones are designed to foster innovation and create entrepreneurial opportunities by aligning the combined resources of educational institutions with public and private partnerships,” the site explains.
Although it may seem like the Innovation Zone has little to do with ESU and its students, anyone interested in graduate studies needs to pay attention. The Center assists in recruiting student interns and grad assistants.
It also deals with student stipends, which offset the cost of hiring a grad assistant, making departments more likely to hire a grad assistant.
Grants for universities are also processed through the Center. According to the site, these grants can be used for efforts such as business plan analysis, marketing analysis, prototyping, and other uses that are approved by the Department of Community and Economic Development.
Still not convinced it is worth knowing about? Well, the 51,000 square foot building is home to things like the computer training labs, conference facilities, and the Northeast Wildlife DNA laboratory.
The Center is located at 314 Independence Road, Route 447 and East Brown Street. For more information, you can reach them by telephone at (570) 422-7920 or by fax at (570) 422-7951.
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