Mission: Lead a place-based urban development 501c3 initiative designed to transform the Erie region into a safety and security innovation hub that will become a destination for secure cyber and connected services.
Means: Launched in 2017 by a $4M local grant and at the consultative advice of the Brookings Institution, EID brings together governmental leadership, regional universities, startups and established Fortune 500s in a singular downtown footprint, which lies in the heart of the city's historic business district and Qualified Opportunity Zone. This public/private partnership involves collaboration on business and technology investments across entities including the City of Erie, DellEMC, Erie Insurance, MCPc, Mercyhurst and Gannon Universities, Quantela, VelocityNet, and others.
Place: Collocated at 717 State Street with the city's largest Fortune 500 employer, EID jointly operates a state-of-the-art Innovation Center of over 10,000 sqft, as part of a larger 4-block radius footprint including both coworking spaces and incubation. The center's space offers both an open floor plan and break-out rooms for both small and large working events.
Establish a digital infrastructure and technology workforce that reimagines a historic test and manufacturing city into a "living laboratory" with field-testing of new security products and connected services on a community scale. In essence, build, test, and distribute to the globe out of the marketplace city of the future.
To achieve this physical and economic transformation, EID has launched an integrated revitalization plan with two primary initiatives:
The SAFE program will organize and manage a venture investment fund dedicated to developing a regional technology workforce of talent and intellectual property through startups linked to the Erie's secure smart city campaign. Specifically, late-stage startups will be attracted to a companion acceleration program for this investment fund, based on proven acceleration processes of Singularly University, and will graduate with pilots, additional rounds, and/or partnerships with both local and multinational corporate sponsors.