The Community

The Pennovation Works is a distinctive blend of offices, labs, and production space developed by The University of Pennsylvania to link the intellectual and entrepreneurial initiatives necessary for advancing knowledge and generating economic development. The master plan articulates a phased approach, with initial activity focused on site improvements and renovating existing buildings, beginning with the 2016 completion of the Pennovation Center.


Events hosted by the Pennovation Center draw multidisciplinary attendance.


The 23-acre property adjacent to Penn's campus accommodates, in state-of-the-art facilities, researchers, entrepreneurs, and industry partners solving real world problems and translating inventiveness into viable ventures. By grouping facilities for innovation, technological development, and artistic production/exhibition, Penn envisions a multifaceted workshop for harnessing and commercializing the tremendous creative potential in the region.

This property is strategically situated in a valued location within the Lower Schuylkill Innovation District, and is envisioned to become a keystone securing University City, Center City, and the emerging Innovation District as three engines of Philadelphia's economy. Businesses that are located at Pennovation Works are eligible to receive significant state and local tax benefits including abatement of Business Privilege Tax, Net Profit Tax and Real Estate Tax.



website homepage snip showing plasma

AAPlasma investigates novel applications of cold plasma-based solutions to a variety of industry pain points, such as in the areas of food safety, shelf-life extension, and water cleaning.

application on phone sample

Aerial Applications is a software company that takes images from drones and turns them into maps and 3D models to make them more useful.

ALLEVI printer

Allevi, Inc., believes that 3D tissues will have a huge impact on both pharmaceutical and clinical development worlds.

low cost, ​​​​​​​regenerable and reusable water filters

Amriton LLC is developing low cost, regenerable and reusable water filters for water and pharmaceutical industries, with emphasis on water reuse application.

ARG logo

ARG is a small company designing embedded systems, with a focus on developing products that could be used for remote monitoring in cities of the future.

Avisi Technologies at Pennovation

Avisi Technologies is a pre-clinical medical devices startup focused on advancing the development of VisiPlate, a nanoscale defense against blindness from glaucoma.

Pennovation Center featuring north facade

Learn which exciting new companies are at the Pennovation Center. Our list of members is updated regularly.


Joshua Buser, VP of Research & Development

Chip Diagnostics aims to enable minimally invasive diagnostics and drug efficacy prediction and monitoring using a nanoscale liquid biopsy technique targeting extracellular vesicles (EVs).

state-of-the-art, humidity- and climate-controlled storage environment

Over 800,000 volumes, some more than 100 years old, are located at the Pennovation Works site, stored in a state-of-the-art, humidity- and climate-controlled environment.

Ghost Robotics Image

Ghost Robotics develops unstoppable, agile, and highly responsive autonomous 4-leg robots with superior operability. 

The Hershey Company header

The Hershey Company is the inaugural corporate sponsor of the Pennovation Center.

Image Analysis Group Photo

IAG is a clinical development partner to life sciences companies that leverages proprietary image analysis methodologies to ensure higher probability for promising therapeutics to reach patients.

Michael Wong founder of InstaHub

InstaHub’s "snap-on" motion sensor device installs easily over light switches, providing instant lighting automation with no rewiring or renovation required.

IQ Motion team

IQ Motion Control is a tech startup that delivers the ultimate motor module and controller for versatility and performance.

jpod at Pennovation Center

Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS launched JPOD @ Philadelphia in collaboration with Penn to accelerate healthcare innovation and commercialization in Philadelphia and beyond. 

Lia homepage with image of test device

Lia is the result of years of research that combines sustainable materials and novel engineering into a flushable pregnancy test that is free from plastic.

Full color logo

Limelight Bio, Inc. is an emerging biotech company developing novel gene therapies to enable the treatment of debilitating inherited diseases that cannot be addressed by current technologies.

netronix staff

Netronix offers the most comprehensive turn-key solution on the market for monitoring remote 3rd party sensors - measuring everything from water quality and weather parameters to biochemical and nuclear parameters.

opertech team photo march 2018

Opertech Bio is a service-based business offering its customers a pioneering approach to measuring taste, a multi-billion dollar market covering the food and beverage, flavor ingredients, pet food, and pharmaceutical industries.

PCIV team 2018

The Penn Center for Innovation’s (PCI) mission is to empower ideas into becoming real world solutions that benefit society.

Penn's Tier 1 data center

In order to service the University’s needs, a Tier 1 data center was created on the first floor of the Pennovation Center.

provide inexpensive medicine to people in remote areas

Driven by a desire to provide inexpensive medicine to people in remote areas, Dr. Henry Daniell at the Penn Dental Research Greenhouse wants to use plants in a new medicinal capacity.

Penn graduate architecture students use this studio space to design and construct

Graduate architecture students use this studio space to design and construct through hands-on work, focused on acquiring knowledge through making.

fundamental research on robotics and embedded systems

The third floor of the Pennovation Center is occupied by PERCH, where faculty, staff and students will pursue research on robotics, embedded systems, and the “Internet of Things”.

SAS Coding Class at Pennovation

This 24-week, part-time coding program is designed to offer adult learners and working professionals in Philadelphia a pathway into the tech industry.

trains dogs to search and rescue, sniff out indicators of disease

The Penn Vet Working Dog Center, founded and directed by veterinarian Cynthia Otto, trains dogs to search and rescue, sniff out indicators of disease, and detect bioterrorism threats.

PhylloZyme Team Photo

PhylloZyme is a biotechnology startup and the first company to produce shelf-stable enzymes in leaves. Their novel platform technology offers a cost-effective alternative to a decades-old fermentation production system.

Penn Public Safety in partnership with Drexel Public Safety

Penn Public Safety in partnership with Drexel Public Safety operates and maintains a Backup Operations Command Center to be used in the event that facilities on campus are inoperable or inaccessible.

growing team of researchers and engineers aerial vehicles and robotic systems

A division of the Fortune 100 company Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., this growing team of researchers and engineers work on research, development, and commercialization of leading-edge technology for aerial vehicles and robotic systems.

Red & Blue Ventures

Red & Blue Ventures is a privately owned and operated, seed and early stage venture capital fund that invests in companies from the University of Pennsylvania ecosystem.

Indoor Pool Photo

Researchers in M. Ani Hsieh’s lab (Penn Engineering) are working to enable robots to perform useful tasks across the ocean. 

photo of the two founders of Strella, Penn students

Strella offers the first and only ripeness technology that travels the supply chain to deliver better produce and reduce food waste.

Tern Water Photo

Tern Water is a water treatment service company that provides the public with the data and tools needed to tap into the water industry and improve the standard for home water.

a crowd of people with a few in clarity while most blurred

ZeroEyes is a security company powered by artificial intelligence (AI). Lead by former Navy SEALs, this veteran owned business is dedicated to protecting lives, and providing security personnel with the information they need to keep people safe.

ZSX device

ZSX Medical, LLC is a clinical-stage bio materials company improving the processes and recovery time for minimally invasive surgery.



Existing and Available Spaces

Pennovation Center

Leasing options at the Pennovation Center include offices, labs, and Startup Garages. Also, coworking memberships are available at several levels. Learn more about Membership at the Pennovation Center or schedule a Tour.

Pennovation Works

Several existing Pennovation Works buildings, including the Office Building and the Lab Building, have been identified as having potential for re-use.

pennovation office bldg

Office Building

The Property is a multi-tenant office building situated on approximately 3.25 acres of land. A 3-story building, it consists of 24,000 rentable square feet. Originally built in 1937 and renovated by Penn in 2016-17, the Office Building includes a new elevator core, restrooms, and code-related improvements.  The building is constructed with concrete slab-on grade, steel framing and concrete floors, new membrane roof, unpainted masonry brick exterior and concrete stem walls. Common area interior finishes consist of painted gypsum board walls, acoustical ceiling tiles and ceramic tile and carpet floors. 

The Office Building is part of the Pennovation Works site, as is the Pennovation Center. The site offers a common secured access gate and parking. The Office Building is currently partially leased to various start-up companies and Penn-related occupants.

Download Plans

Lab Building at Pennovation Works

Lab Building

When completed in Fall 2020, the newly renovated Pennovation Lab Building will offer nearly 73,000 gsf of wet lab and office/flex space. Ideal tenant Innovators are early-stage companies requiring 2,000 – 6,000 sq.ft. — both those companies new to the Pennovation Works site and those scaling up operations from the adjacent Pennovation Center incubator. The Lab Building will accommodate a wide range of tenants, from technology to life sciences.

The Pennovation Lab Building will be positioned to enable successful start-up companies to locate and grow at the Pennovation Works site, adding critical mass to this growing innovation community.

Lab areas on each floor will consist of seven modules that can be combined or subdivided based on tenant requirements. Utilities are to be modularized similarly and will be available without disruption to adjacent modules. Shared amenities are to include a lounge with kitchenette, a glasswash and autoclave facility, and a dry storage room.

The new design is an industrial maker space aesthetic, with interior glass partitions offering focused worked environments within a shared space. The Lab Building’s proximity to the Pennovation Center, several other renovated research facilities, and the central Pennovation Plaza, contributes to the spirit of community and collaboration developing at Pennovation Works.

Download Plans (PDF)



Pennovation Works

The 23-acre campus at Gray's Ferry offering offices, labs, and production space

We are pleased to offer tours of the site and available spaces by appointment. To visit Pennovation Works, please contact Esaul Sanchez, Asset Manager, at or 215.746.7752, or Ed Datz, Executive Director -- Real Estate, at