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Research Institute Launches First For-Profit Corporation

The Research Institute has established its first for-profit corporation—the IUP Research Institute Business and Technology Group, Inc., John Johnson, board president, announced.

This new entity is an independent business corporation with the not-for-profit Research Institute as its sole shareholder. Dividends generated by the corporation will come to the Research Institute “to support the research enterprise for the university,” Johnson said.

“It’s a win-win situation for all involved,” he said. “In addition to the educational and work opportunities for faculty and students, economic development for our region, and revenue generation for IUP’s research activities, we anticipate that the success of this corporation will provide support for additional federal projects awarded to the university. Our success with the BTG sends a clear message that we can compete in this arena and deliver high-quality products that support our nation.

“The Research Institute board of directors also is very appreciative of the support and endorsement of university leadership as we worked to create this new corporation.”

The Business and Technology Group develops solutions to technical and business challenges for military operations, homeland security, emergency response, and all other major federal, state, and tribal initiatives.

The corporation originated in the Research Institute’s Technology Development Division, formed in response to a federal grant to develop software for the National Guard Bureau.

“This new business venture will make IUP’s research institute more viable and competitive by allowing its employees and partners to commercialize many of their successful research efforts,” U.S. Rep. Mark S. Critz (PA-12) said. “This in turn will support economic development and employment opportunities in Indiana County.”

“This is a very positive step for IUP,” Timothy Mack, dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research, said. “While it is new to us, this is a normal and natural occurrence for institutions with strong research interests and abilities. Our success in establishing this venture is just another example of the excellent and innovative work that is being done by IUP faculty and staff.

“The Technology Development Division of the Research Institute has established a self-sustaining and revenue-producing corporation that will financially benefit the Research Institute and enhance the research enterprise at IUP.”

The new corporation is headquartered at the Indiana County HighPointe Center, along Indian Springs Road in Indiana, and has fourteen employees and four full-time student interns.

Rebecca Zukowski, of Penn Run, directs the corporation. She has more than twenty-five years of experience in program management, health and human services, technology development, and the military. She is a former officer in the U.S. Navy and has worked extensively in program operations and strategy development for public and private organizations. Zukowski received her bachelor’s degree from Carlow University and a master’s degree from Marquette University and is a Ph.D. candidate at IUP.

“The development of the Business and Technology Group as a for-profit corporation will provide the opportunity for close collaboration with IUP faculty and the research enterprise while continuing to support regional economic development through the sustainment of employment opportunities and the fostering of new business and contracts for the region,” Zukowski said.

The IUP Research Institute Business and Technology Group, Inc., has developed a software system for the National Guard Bureau Civil Support Teams that provides a common operating picture during response to major incidents. The Civil Support Teams are currently fielding this software to every state and territory in the nation.

“As the Business and Technology Group builds its client base, we are also building new options for projects and involvement of additional faculty and students,” Zukowski said.

“We are looking forward to our continued work with the university and with our new business partners to support academic excellence, as well as additional educational initiatives and programs for IUP, its faculty, and students.”