Pittsburgh Technology Strategy - SWOT Analysis
Nov 01, 2006
Perry Wong, Benjamin Yeo and Ross DeVol

This study examines the strengths and weaknesses of the high-tech economy of Pittsburgh, Penn., and offers recommendations on what local leaders must to do improve the region's prospects for economic growth.

The report is one of two sponsored by the Greater Oakland Keystone Innovation Zone (GO KIZ), a collaborative of regional tech-based economic development organizations, trade groups, governmental agencies and universities. The other was produced by Battelle Memorial Institute.

Together, the reports present a clear picture of the Pittsburgh region's competitive position and lay the foundation for a focused strategy to advance the Pittsburgh region to the top tier of technology regions.

This study compares and contrasts the region with five other metro areas: Baltimore, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Seattle and St. Louis, all of which are similar in economic makeup to Pittsburgh.

It looks at such things as the regions' education infrastructure, business climate and industry development capacity.

The report finds that while Pittsburgh has great development potential, a number of factors prevent it from taking the region to the next level of economic performance. These include:

  • aversion to risk
  • lack of productivity growth
  • high corporate tax rates
  • low high-tech wage-income base
  • lack of anchor firms
  • poor entrepreneurial environment

The study also offers a summary of the region's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT).

Finally, the report offers a series of recommendations and proposals and what regional officials can do to improve the area's economic prospects, including:

  • Initiate technology scholarship programs at leading Pittsburgh universities.
  • Develop and offer business services - targeted to opportunity areas - to help high-tech businesses connect with national venture capital firms and other companies.
  • Increase lobbying efforts so that the new regional leadership places industry development

For additional information about GO KIZ, or to download the Battelle report, visit the web site of the University Partnership of Pittsburgh
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