Thank You

Thank you to the following organizations for their continued support of our research and this Data Dashboard, which is part of Project STIR (Sparking Transformation using Information & Research).

Moses Taylor Foundation
The Robert H. Spitz Foundation
Willary Foundation
Scranton Area Community Foundation
William G. McGowan Charitable Fund
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Technology & Innovation

Innovation in regional businesses, healthcare, and educational institutions is difficult to measure directly. Several datasets presented here are limited, and many innovations in processes or practices occur without being counted. It is incumbent on regional leaders to continue to promote a culture of innovation and creativity. Through entrepreneurship and creative thinking, new ideas can be introduced, applied to real-world problems, and brought into the global marketplace.

STEM Occupations

STEM Occupations

Data for three STEM occupation categories were analyzed. In 2020, employment in architecture and engineering occupations shrank in both counties, continuing a trend from the prior year. Luzerne County saw a larger drop at 5.2 percent compared to 3.8 percent for Lackawanna County. This occupation category employs just over 3,000 workers across both areas.

Life, physical, and social science employment has been generally stable in the region since 2013, though Lackawanna County has seen a declining trend that accelerated from 2016 to 2019. In 2020, however, both counties saw employment growth in these jobs, with Lackawanna County employment growing by 7.7 percent and Luzerne County gaining 9.4 percent.

Computer and mathematical occupations have varied from year to year. Both Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties experienced declines in 2018, but followed up with increases of 17.7 and 16.2 percent, respectively, in 2019. This was followed by declines of 1.1 and 0.5 percent, respectively. The total number of regional workers in these occupations has ranged from just under 4,200 to over 5,100 over the period analyzed, and most recently stood at 4,866.

Wages in all three of these STEM occupation groups were higher than wages in the region as a whole. In the two counties, architecture and engineering jobs have a median wage of $72,000 per year, and science occupations have median wage of $60,300 per year. Computer and mathematical occupations have a median wage of $71,000 per year. The regional median wage for all jobs is $36,200 per year. The wage gap between STEM and non-STEM workers is apparent across different experience levels for workers.

STEM-Based Industries

The table below shows the industries with the largest numbers of employees in the three STEM occupation categories discussed previously. Over 58 percent of the region’s STEM jobs fall into one of the 15 industries listed here.

Architectural, engineering, and related services had the highest number of STEM jobs as well as the highest percentage of its workforce (62 percent) in STEM occupations. The computer systems design and related services industry reported 614 of its workforce in STEM occupations – 59 percent of that industry’s total workforce. Data processing, hosting, and related services constitute the third largest STEM-employing industry in the region (584 STEM jobs; 41 percent of the industry workforce). Insurance carriers, management of companies, colleges and universities, hospitals, and various other industries also host large numbers of STEM workers. Several heavy industries, such as electricity generation, transmission, and distribution, medical equipment manufacturing, and plastics manufacturing are also represented.

Architecture & Engineering Occupations​

Source: JobsEQ (Chmura Economics)

Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations

Source: JobsEQ (Chmura Economics)

Computer and Mathematical Occupations

Source: JobsEQ (Chmura Economics)

SBIR/STTR Awards

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program awards grants to small businesses throughout the nation in order to promote federal innovation research and development. In 2019, firms in Pennsylvania received over $106 million in SBIR awards. This represents a decrease from the prior year’s revised total, but still the second highest total of all years analyzed. The total number of awards grew to the highest level among all years analyzed – 223 awardees statewide.

The Small Business Technology Transfer program (STTR) is similar to the SBIR program, with an emphasis on joint venture opportunities between small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. Pennsylvania’s 2019 award total was over $15.7 million – slightly lower than in 2018 but higher any year prior to 2016. The total number of STTR grants grew fell slightly from 38 to 36.

Pennsylvania SBIR Award Amounts

Prior year data has been updated
Source: U.S. Small Business Administration

Pennsylvania SBIR Awards

Prior year data has been updated
Source: U.S. Small Business Administration

Pennsylvania STTR Award Amounts

Prior year data has been updated
Source: U.S. Small Business Administration

Pennsylvania STTR Awards

Prior year data has been updated
Source: U.S. Small Business Administration

Active Clinical Trial Sites

The number of active clinical trials shown here is a point-in-time snapshot of trials in the recruiting phase. These totals identified in the last two years are considerably higher than those appearing in previous Indicators reports. The statistics currently available may represent all active trial sites, which involves some duplication of trials underway at multiple hospitals within a health system, for example.

The number of ongoing trials in the region relate to critical areas of health research, and the total number of clinical trials counted in this manner was 170 between the two counties, lower than in early 2020.

Active Clinical Trial Sites

Source: Centerwatch

2018Q1 2020Q2 2021
Lackawanna655851
Luzerne88149119

Regional Venture Capital Investments Reported to The Institute

It is difficult to capture venture capital investment data from a single source, and this problem is compounded by the lack of non-proprietary data available. Due to these challenges, venture capital measured here likely underestimates actual investments. This list includes multi-stage venture capital investments and angel fund investments made by public and private sources over the past ten years, and which have been made public or provided to The Institute.

In 2019, over $15.2 million was invested directly by organizations reporting data to The Institute – including Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania in addition to private sources. In 2020, over $1 million in investments were identified, higher than most years analyzed. Known recipients include manufacturers and technology companies in both counties.

Regional Venture Capital Investments Reported to The Institute

Source: Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Private Funders. Previous figures have been revised.

YearAmount (Thousands)
2011$540
2012$8,200
2013$600
2014$700
2015$600
2016$725
2017$700
2018$800
2019$15,200
2020$1,077

Statewide Patents Issued

Patents are filed by their inventors and classified according to the inventors’ residential addresses. Patents may be individually owned or owned by organizations inside or outside the region. Since 2015, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office no longer regularly tabulates patent data at a county or regional level. In 2015, 40 patents were issued to inventors in the two counties. Both counties saw a decrease of one from the prior year. In total, 487 patents have been issued over the ten years analyzed.

Statewide, there have been an average of just over 4,000 utility patents per year, and about 4,500 total patents per year. In 2019, there were above average patents issued to Pennsylvania inventors, though the statewide share as a percent of the nationwide total fell to 2.5 percent.

Statewide Patents Issued

Source: USPTO