Stay connected. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

Science Center Awarded $750,000 to Advance Equitable Life Sciences Innovation

PHILADELPHIA – (April 13, 2022) – The University City Science Center, a catalyst of entrepreneurial activity and economic growth across Greater Philadelphia, is pleased to announce grant funding of $750,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and secured thanks to the support of Senator Vincent Hughes. The funding is designed to bolster the organization’s activities focused on equitable life sciences innovation. The Science Center will use this funding to scale its work in expanding economic opportunity and health equity and attract additional private investment to deepen its impact.

“This is foundational funding that coalesces our work in supporting equitable life sciences and healthcare innovation,” says Science Center President & CEO Tiffany Wilson. “We are immensely grateful to Senator Hughes for his leadership in this space and for his instrumental role in bringing this inclusive investment to West Philly."

“The Science Center is well positioned to usher in a new era of inclusive growth through its investment in life sciences companies and creating inclusive career pathways into Philadelphia’s innovation ecosystem,” says Senator Vincent Hughes.

This funding will aid a strong and equitable economic recovery through several means:

  • Health Equity Research Fellowships for researchers working on best practices addressing health inequities in West Philadelphia
  • A Founders Fellowship for biotech researchers with STEM degrees, offering hands-on startup experience and support to transform concepts into a business reality.
  • STEM Career Access for local youth and adults through a continuum of age-appropriate STEM curriculum:
    • FirstHand – Educational programming focused on STEM career pathways for middle and high school youth.
    • Building an Understanding of Lab Basics (BULB) – STEM workforce training that creates opportunities for Philadelphia residents to attain family-sustaining life sciences careers.

The Science Center is well positioned to usher in a new era of inclusive growth through its investment in life sciences companies and creating inclusive career pathways into Philadelphia’s innovation ecosystem

Senator Vincent Hughes

With the grant, the Science Center will increase the number of participants in its Founders Fellowship for diverse STEM graduates to explore entrepreneurship and expand STEM workforce and education programming for disadvantaged youth. Expected outcomes include small business formation and growth and job creation. The funding comes at a pivotal time for the Science Center, as it embarks on implementing its comprehensive strategic plan addressing critical gaps in healthcare innovation to advance inclusive growth for the region.

This grant comes from Pandemic Response Funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Education through federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars that have been designated by the Commonwealth to support COVID-19 response efforts, replace lost revenue, support economic stabilization for households and businesses, and address systemic public health and economic challenges.

In 2022, the Science Center supported 250 entrepreneurs and researchers through entrepreneurial support activities, engaged over 300 student and adult learners through STEM training and education, and convened 17,000 entrepreneurs, researchers, business leaders, and community members across programs and events throughout the year.

About the Science Center

The University City Science Center is Philadelphia’s premier catalyst of entrepreneurial activity, healthcare innovation, and economic growth. Established in 1963, the nonprofit has been recognized by The Brookings Institution as a best-in-class investor, mentor, and economic development partner for young technology companies. Working alongside industry partners and leading research and academic institutions across the globe, the Science Center has supported over 1,000 early-stage companies. Today, the organization advances healthcare innovation from idea to the marketplace through startup support services and building inclusive STEM pathways for Philadelphia youth and adults. For more information visit or follow us at @UCScienceCenter.

Media Contact:

Kristen Fitch Headshot 2024

Kristen Fitch

Senior Director, Marketing