Southwestern Pa. $63 million to boost the robotics and artificial intelligence industries in the region

Southwest Pennsylvania has won a $62.7 million federal grant that local officials hope will boost the robotics and artificial intelligence industry in the region and allow small businesses to benefit from that growth.

The White House announced Thursday that the newly formed Southwest Pennsylvania Economic Cooperation will receive its funding through Billion Dollars Rebuilding the Regional Challenge Better. The collaboration was one of only 21 funding recipients out of more than 500 applicants nationwide.

The winners received between $25 million and $65 million.

Collaborative promises in the region that the funding will help create thousands of jobs and help small businesses modernize with robots and artificial intelligence. US Senator Bob Casey, D-Scranton, said the companies that would benefit the most include those in industries such as agriculture, construction, energy, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing.

The cooperative said it would also invest in vocational training programs and programs to help students enter the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said advancing the robotics and artificial intelligence industries is critical to America’s global competitiveness and job creation in the Pittsburgh region.

“This funding will ensure that these opportunities reach rural, coal-influenced communities while cementing US leadership in the industry,” Raimondo said in a statement.

Pittsburgh’s funding will be distributed over four years in an 11-county region that includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

Pittsburgh Robotics Artificial intelligence industries have become an essential part of stimulating the region’s growth in the technology sector. Earlier this year, Pittsburgh ranked fifth among the best environmental environment for promising startups in the United States, according to Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2022.

Casey said the $62.7 million in funding should help the region build on this momentum and expand the tech sector’s reach into rural communities, particularly those in areas like Green, Lawrence and Indiana counties that have been hit hard by the coal industry’s decline. He said the cooperative plans to create or maintain 12,000 jobs and generate $335 million in direct regional GDP.

“When southwest Pennsylvania fell, they didn’t wait for someone else to take them back. They reinvented themselves to become leaders in technology, adding that federal funding would allow workers, small businesses, and family businesses to take advantage of the region’s robotics and artificial intelligence industries to modernize their own businesses and keep their growth in the twenty-first century economy.

The collaborative grant application said it would be governed by a board co-chaired by Carnegie Mellon University President Dr. Varnam Jahanian and Allegheny Conference Chairman Stephanie Bachmann. The Board of Directors will appoint a Regional Economic Competitiveness Officer to lead the cooperative.

The app said five projects will be funded through the collaboration, with Carnegie Mellon receiving funding to implement three of the projects. CMU will help bring robotics and artificial intelligence to small businesses across the region, as well as work with the private sector, workforce development groups, and trade unions to create educational programs to train workers in these technical areas.

US Representative Conor Lamb D-Mt. Lebanon said it believed the cooperation could help create more robotics jobs and protect existing manufacturing jobs.

It was the Pittsburgh area Getting rid of jobs in manufacturing For decades before the pandemic.

US Representative Mike Doyle, of Forest Hills, said the funding is a smart investment. By helping boost an already growing field, he said, the region will create new jobs.

“Pittsburgh is already known as a world leader in robotics and self-driving vehicle technology, and the potential to grow our economy through smart targeted investment like this is clear,” Doyle said.

Ryan Ditto is a Tribune Review writer. You can contact Ryan via email at or via Twitter .

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