University leadership joined state, regional and local officials, as well as project partners and supporters for the grand opening of the Digital Foundry at New Kensington, a partnership between Penn State New Kensington and the Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland on June 1. The new 15,044 square-foot innovation and manufacturing lab space on Fifth Avenue in downtown New Kensington. The state-of-the-art space, which was recently named one of eight Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centers (SMICs) by the U.S. Department of Energy in partnership with the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Institute (CESMII), will serve as a launching pad for training and access to modern software tools by linking digital data and equipment into manufacturing, operations and business management for industry, as well as research and educational components for students and workforce training.
The launch of the space was funded through a partnership between local government, corporate donors and foundational support. Since 2018, the Richard King Mellon Foundation has invested nearly $10 million in total funding, to date, for the project and within New Kensington. Penn State has also provided a $1 million matching gift, which will help create an endowment for ongoing operating support of this state-of-the-art facility, through the Economic Development Matching Program, an initiative of its current campaign, “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence.”