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April 21, 2013

Colleges plan displays at Showcase

JOHNSTOWN — Providing a glimpse into the not-too-distant future of business development has always been a goal of the Showcase for Commerce.

This year, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh will assist in that mission.

Those colleges will set up displays during the 23rd annual event, which is scheduled to take place May 29-31 at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in downtown Johnstown.

CMU’s pavilion will feature leading start-ups in robotics and health care technologies.

Pitt will highlight advancements being made in regenerative medicine.

“One of western Pennsylvania’s great strengths is its educational and research institutions like the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon,” said U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, the exhibition’s congressional sponsor. “During the Showcase, CMU and the University of Pittsburgh will spotlight the way our region innovates and creates its own future by developing next generation technology that creates jobs and boosts economic growth.”

The colleges occasionally participated in past Showcases, but never to the level of this year’s planned involvement.

“I think the idea was to kind of group the two universities together and show what they’re doing,” said Showcase for Commerce Chairman Ed Sheehan, president and CEO of Concurrent Technologies Corp.

CMU will highlight companies that are developing products to help military and heath care professionals.

“Carnegie Mellon University is pleased to join Senator Casey in celebrating the role of university start-ups in transforming Pennsylvania and the U.S. economy at the 2013 Showcase for Commerce,” said Jared Cohon, president of CMU.

Three different organizations will represent Pitt: Center for Military Medicine Research, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and UPMC Center for Innovation in Restorative Medicine. Although separate, the centers work together to help develop advanced heath care treatments for military personnel and the general population.

“We’re trying to highlight all the work that we’re doing not only for the military and veterans but also civilians,” said retired Col. Ron Poropatich, M.D., executive director of Pitt’s Center for Military Medicine Research.

The Center for Military Medicine Research plans to educate Showcase attendees about advancements made in treating traumatic brain injuries. McGowan expects to display an artificial lung.

Center for Innovation in Restorative Medicine representatives will discuss facial reconstruction techniques.

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