Monday, July 26, 2010

Community Conversations Being Held Across 32-County Area Tuesday July 27 to Determine Future Direction. Let Your Global Voice be Heard! Register Now!

Community Conversations Launch - Tuesday, July 27th! Register Now!

Community Conversations are scheduled across four states in a region-wide Power of 32 launch on Tuesday, July 27th, creating a forum for all residents to voice their vision for the region’s future. Residents across the region will unify in beginning the Listening Phase of this unprecedented project during the launch.

Please pass this announcement to your personal contacts.


Friday, July 23, 2010

"Global Penn State" Series on Big Ten Network to Showcase University's International Service Learning Programs

College students who have studied overseas often return home finding that their experiences transformed them. Many Penn State students’ global education focuses on service-learning projects in developing nations. The results of their extended visits have transformed entire villages with improved quality of life. A Big Ten Network series premiering this month highlights several of these dual-benefit service-learning opportunities.

"Global Penn State" debuts at 6 p.m. Sunday, July 25, on the Big Ten Network. The premiere episode takes viewers to Kenya, where three groups of engineering students apply their education by tackling problems related to health care, unemployment, nutrition and renewable energy in marginalized communities while also providing Kenyans with economic opportunities. Penn State student-led projects Mashavu, WishVast and Essential Design build upon Penn State's threefold mission of teaching, research and service and extend relationships with host universities in the African nation.

"The programs featured in Kenya epitomize the integration of our tripartite mission of teaching, research and service, but in a global context," said Michael Adewumi, vice provost for Global Programs. "Penn State is committed to preparing students who would be actively engaged in tackling some of the global challenges of our time."

Using innovative, cost-effective engineering designs and existing technology, Penn State's Mashavu program has brought doctors and Kenyan patients together. While Kenya has a severe shortage of doctors - only one per 50,000 citizens - nearly all Kenyans have access to cell phones. Mashavu brings preventative care to Kenyans using telemedicine.

Penn State students in a variety of majors have helped design inexpensive diagnostic equipment from readily available materials, like stethoscopes made of plastic tubing and funnels. They set up mobile kiosks with a laptop computer and gather patients' basic health information, like blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and lung capacity. That data is then sent to doctors available worldwide via cell phone signals to help monitor individuals' health and diagnose medical conditions.

Preview the work of Mashavu by clicking HERE.

WishVast is a ratings-based social network that connects people to potential business partners, clients and customers - workers to employers and farmers to manufacturers and retailers - using inexpensive, widely used cell-phone text messaging technology. WishVast creates networks, managed with a laptop and a tethered cell phone, that improve supply chains and employment through communities built on ratings. Each participant can rate the quality of interactions with others in a network, sending WishVast Points to each person based on their business reputation. WishVat helps to build trust regardless of geographic, economic, social or cultural boundaries.

The Essential Design group's work is based on a class in which students designed and built a biogas generator, a high tunnel greenhouse and a drip irrigation system using low-cost, locally found components. The greenhouse, for instance, is relatively inexpensive to construct with accessible materials and provides Kenyan farmers with a quick return on their investment and an efficient, highly profitable means of growing crops.

Future Global Penn State programs will feature Penn State student and faculty research, projects and partnerships from all corners of the world. The series is produced for the Big Ten Network by the Offices of University Relations and Global Programs and Penn State Public Television.

"Global Penn State" is scheduled to debut on the Big Ten Network at 6 p.m. Sunday, July 25, with additional airings at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 28, and 11:30 p.m. Friday, July 30. Listed air dates are in Eastern time; check local listings.

Watch a preview of the show at online.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Talisman Energy of Canada Cuts Ribbon on U.S. Headquarters Marking $1 Billion Investment in Region

Calgary-based Talisman Energy Wednesday cut the ribbon on its new U.S. Shale Headquarters in Warrendale, marking the most visible element of its $1 billion investment this year in the Pittsburgh region.

Go to Talisman websiteCalling Pittsburgh the "ideal location" for the company's U.S. base of operations, thanks to its close proximity to the vast Marcellus Shale deposits, Talisman USA officials led tours of its 52,000-square-office office facility, which includes engineering, legal and sales facilities.

About 80 people are currently employed at the headquarters, and that number will grow to about 140 by the end of the year, the company said, adding that 200 people could work in the building within three years.

Talisman operates 10 drilling operations in Pennsylvania, and said it expects to extract 300 million cubic feet in the state by the end of the year. That makes it one of the state's largest shale gas producers.

The Talisman facility was built with the help of about $720,000 in tax incentives and training funds from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which state officials at the event said will be recouped in 2.5 years through corporate and individual income taxes.

For more information, go to

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh Hosting Graduate Engineers Through Sustainable Leadership Initiative

The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh announced that it is hosting graduate engineers from Northern Ireland who will be attached to local companies and organizations developing and deploying sustainable technologies around energy efficiency, environmental conservation, and other industries.

Participants will spend up to one year with companies while participating in the Northern Ireland – Pittsburgh Sustainable Leadership Program, an initiative conceived by administrators at Northern Ireland’s South West College, Dungannon.

The 2009 G20 Summit underscored Pittsburgh’s well-established tradition of technological innovation and ecological stewardship, solidifying the region’s role as a pioneer of sustainable technologies.

For example, Epiphany Solar Water Systems, a New Castle-based organization that attracted global interest after using the G20 to unveil a groundbreaking new design—a system that completely purifies any water source using only solar power—engaged Michael Mageean, an engineering graduate from Northern Ireland, to help tackle one of the world’s most pervasive causes of sickness and death.

The Northern Ireland government and academic leaders, aware of the rich and diverse sustainable technology sector of Pittsburgh, have asked the Ireland Institute to identify and solicit local companies, public agencies and non-profit organizations to offer internships to qualified graduates. Internships have been established in various companies and organizations, including Chester Engineers, E-Cap Network, ALCOSAN, and Venture Engineering.

To date, 10 candidates have landed internships in Pittsburgh. They are, by name, hometown, county and degree(s) earned:

Brownlie, Timothy - Belfast, Antrim - BA (Hons) Architecture
Mackle, Sarah - Craigavon, Armagh - BSc Engineering
Mageean, Michael - Portaferry, Down - BSc (Hons) Engineering
McAteer, Michelle - Belfast, Co. Antrim - MSc Environment/Resource Mgmt.
BSc Environmental Science
McMahon, Debra - Lurgan, Co. Armagh - MSc Chemical Engineering
O’Reilly, Michael - Belfast, Down - MSc Environmental Engineering, BSc (Hons) Geology
Quinn, Paul Newry, Down MSc Spatial Regeneration, BSc Environmental Planning
Spence, Mark - Ballyclare, Antrim - BSc Construction Engineering
Towers, Ross - Belfast, Down - BSc Environmental Mgmt.
Wilson, Stephen - Belfast, Antrim - Master’s Business Administration (MBA)

Two more are expected in the next few weeks.

The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh will provide orientation, soft-landing, a series of educational, social, and recreational activities, networking events, and other support throughout the program.

The Institute will also encourage participating companies and others seeking access to European markets to consider Northern Ireland in their strategic plans. Authorities there offer excellent packages for direct investment and partnership.

A Northern Ireland Business Delegation to Pittsburgh is being planned for this Fall, led by government ministers, and including college representatives and sustainable technology companies. The delegation will monitor the progress of the graduates on the program; engage with Pittsburgh-area companies and authorities on mutual business, trade and investment opportunities; and discuss reciprocal internship programming for Pittsburgh-area university students and graduates in Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland-Pittsburgh Sustainable Leadership Program encourages Northern Ireland graduates to work on some of the most critical ideas of the twenty-first century: renewable energy; the world’s water supply; energy efficiency; “green” building; and other sustainability issues. Seeking to build capacity around sustainable technology industries, Northern Ireland leaders intend to create a cluster of high-performance companies, research institutions and expertise in these areas.

Northern Ireland has emerged from one of the most intractable conflicts of the last century. After thirty years of the dirty sectarian war, known as “the Troubles,” leaders there took a brave step towards peace and reconciliation in 1998 by signing on to a US-brokered agreement, effectively ending military operations there. Combatants on both sides then began to decommission their arsenals, bringing a new way of life and new opportunities to advance civil society and international partnership.

The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh promotes economic development throughout all of Ireland, and advocates mutual understanding between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland, according to James Lamb, President of the Ireland Institute.

"The Institute seeks to foster good relationships between the Pittsburgh region and Ireland, North and South," Lamb said. "Organizations, on both sides of the Atlantic, have recognized the positive outcomes of our programs, and are working together, with the Institute, to bring international solutions to international problems."

Companies and other organizations interested in learning more about opportunities for business in Ireland, North and South, are encouraged to call Jim Lamb at the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh (412) 394-3900. For more information, go to

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

GlobalPittsburgh Receives $68,000 from Benedum Foundation to Expand International Attraction & Retention Programs and Services Into West Virginia

GlobalPittsburgh today announced that is has received a $68,000 grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation to include the state of West Virginia in the continued expansion of its programs and services designed to attract, engage and retain internationals to the region.

The grant will allow GlobalPittsburgh, a non-profit organization formerly known as the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors, to increase the effectiveness of hosting international visitors to the region by creating a relationship between GlobalPittsburgh and West Virginia University, the two parties announced.

GlobalPittsburgh’s programs and services benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Region by making positive connections and encouraging successful partnerships between companies, organizations and individuals that lead to increased international awareness and understanding, and a wide variety of economic benefits, said Chairman and President Roger Cranville.

“This generous grant allows us to pursue one of our main goals, which is to expand the scope of our activities at GlobalPittsburgh to encompass the larger region that includes West Virginia, as well as parts of Maryland and Ohio,” Cranville said. “We look forward to growing the excellent partnership that already has formed with WVU.”

The relationship with WVU already has led to participation in recent weeks by northern West Virginia individuals and organizations in programs coordinated by GlobalPittsburgh for visitors from Kazakhstan in the field of environmental revitalization, and from China in the field of rural health care.

In order to help fund WVU’s participation in GlobalPittsburgh programs, about three-quarters of the Benedum grant has been transferred to WVU, Cranville said.

For more than 50 years, GlobalPittsburgh has forged cultural, educational and business relationships between the Greater Pittsburgh Region and the global community through citizen diplomacy – connecting people and institutions in the region with audiences around the world through a wide range of hosting, training, networking, educational and outreach programs.

GlobalPittsburgh engages international delegations, groups and individuals by creating itineraries and facilitating introductions through the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program and other international organizations in the fields of energy & environment, life sciences & medicine, education, business & technology, clean/green design, advanced manufacturing, arts & culture, government & finance, social services & law, and other areas.

A charter member of the National Council for International Visitors, based in Washington, D.C., GlobalPittsburgh welcomes individuals and families to engage in citizen diplomacy as dinner and homestay hosts, tour guides, office and event volunteers, and greeters for visiting delegations and individuals.

WVU, located in Morgantown, WV, is a public, land-grant institution and the state's flagship university. It is a Carnegie Foundation Research University with 15 colleges and schools with some 32,000 students in its 185 academic programs. For more information, go to

The Pittsburgh-based Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation is an independent foundation established in 1944 by Michael and Sarah Benedum, natives respectively of Bridgeport and Blacksville, West Virginia. They named the Foundation in memory of their only child, Claude Worthington Benedum, who died in 1918 at age 20. The Benedums expressed the wish that grantmaking be focused in West Virginia and Southwestern Pennsylvania, their native and adopted homes.

For more information about GlobalPittsburgh, go to or contact Thomas Buell, Jr., GlobalPittsburgh VP-Communications, at 412-392-4513 or 412-720-2218, or by email at