Annual Report 2016

From the Director’s Desk

2016 proved to be a tremendous year of impact for the companies and individuals that PennTAP served. Our key metrics demonstrate we continue to grow, all the while providing our clients with superior technical assistance in the areas of Advanced IT Solutions, Energy and Environmental Services, and Innovation Services.

As student engagement and student career success are critical foundations of the Penn State Strategic Plan, so too are they a key element of our efforts. This year, our student support activities included scholarships for IT interns, company-sponsored projects for engineering students through the Learning Factory, support and mentoring for student entrepreneurs, and incorporating energy assessments of manufacturing facilities into the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. We anticipate student engagement expanding even further with new programs being offered in 2017.

Partners are critical to our success, and we spent a significant amount of time building and growing new relationships with key partners throughout the Commonwealth. Whether we marketed each other’s programs, provided referrals, or participated in joint training sessions, we mutually benefited by working together. More importantly, we provided Pennsylvania companies with support that allowed them to grow revenue, reduce costs, and create more jobs. We will continue to make this a key element of our efforts in 2017.

As we move into the new year, all of us at PennTAP remain committed and focused on maintaining our mission of engaging, empowering, and educating Pennsylvania organizations through technical assistance and Penn State expertise and resources

Tanna Pugh, PennTAP Director

PennTAP Impacts

PennTAP impact metrics, 2016 compared to 2012-2016
Metric 2016 2012-16
Counties served 48 67
Economic benefits $5.7 M $34 M
Jobs created and saved 97 480
Penn State students engaged 923 3,705
Individuals educated 1,079 5,685
New businesses created 14 36
New client cases 179 1,068
Client satisfaction rating 4.7/5 4.7/5

PennTAP Highlights 2016

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Energy and Environment Services

This team helps Pennsylvania companies conserve energy and reduce wastes in their manufacturing facilities, lowering energy-related costs and increasing their profits. In 2016, PennTAP’s Energy and Environment Team performed 64 pollution prevention/energy efficiency (P2/E2) on-site assessments and two economy-energy-environment (E3) events. The team also provided building re-tuning (BRT) coaching and training and educated hundreds of individuals on various energy and environmental topics. This work resulted in:

  • pollution prevention and energy efficiency projects providing economic benefits totaling more than $1.1 million
  • reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, eliminating more than 3.6 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electric use
  • elimination of 15,535 million British Thermal Units (MMBTU) in natural gas usage
  • eleven school districts and/or municipalities receiving building re-tuning training
  • engagement, mentoring, and education for more than 100 Penn State students

Learn more about our Energy and Environment Services

Advanced IT Solutions

Man and woman looking at computer monitor

In 2016, the PennTAP Advanced IT team worked with for-profit businesses and anchor institutions across Pennsylvania, reaching more than 900 people with sessions on social media, mobile websites, cloud computing, and cyber security. The team produced a number of successes in the Commonwealth, including:

  • assisting a start-up internet provider with connection to economic development organizations to help the business expand its reach
  • helping small businesses obtain better internet connectivity, create websites and online marketing plans, and follow better technology processes
  • placing twelve College of Information Sciences and Technology interns at Pennsylvania companies and organizations. Four of the twelve students were offered a full-time position with the organization before the end of their internship.

Learn more about our Advanced IT Solutions

Innovation Services

Person sketching diagram on glass.

This team helps individuals, start-ups, and small to midsized businesses with product development and prototyping, engineering design, and networking with University, government, and financial resources. Their 2016 highlights include:

  • managing Inc.U at the Startup Tank Competition, where six Penn State undergraduate student–run companies competed for $7,000 in investment funds
  • recruiting and scoping Learning Factory projects from 28 companies that were completed by the senior engineering students in their capstone course
  • mentoring eight student-run companies to pitch at the Invent Penn State Venture & IP Conference, each receiving an award of $2,500
  • developing a federal grant proposal that resulted in a five-year U.S. Economic Development Administration award worth $582,000 (with an additional $582,000 match from the University) for the Pennsylvania Regional Entrepreneurship Assistance Program

Learn more about our Innovation Services


Project Vive

Project Vive team of three people next to their technical poster

“PennTAP provided us with an understanding of the many resources available to new student start-up companies on campus. They also were most supportive in helping us gain an understanding of the various pitch competitions on campus that allowed us to build awareness within the local entrepreneurial community of our idea and product—as well as win some substantial award funding. Their assistance via the Integrated Design Solutions within the College of Engineering helped us envision additional updates to our prototype.” —Project Vive

Revelation Tactical

Person typing on a laptop computer

“Our technical advisor answered all of our questions in depth and taught us the correct questions to ask the technical and advertising companies that we hire. We have calculated that PennTAP’s help has saved us approximately $5,000 in technology and advertising costs just in the first month following our meeting. We are grateful to PennTAP for their expertise and service.” —Revelation Tactical

Success Story

A Brighter Future for Kampel Enterprises

Kampel Enterprises, Inc., is a metal fabricator, sealant manufacturer, and airport located in Wellsville, Pennsylvania. Adequate lighting is a necessity in the entire facility. PennTAP worked with Kampel to review the site’s lighting and compressed air systems to look for energy-saving opportunities. Additionally, PennTAP evaluated the opportunity for solar power at the site and recommended a plan to maximize the impact of solar power.

Their technical advisor recommended replacing the current lighting system with more efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and repairing leaks in the compressed air lines. The resulting electric energy savings are expected to reach 127,231 kWh per year. The total cost benefit is expected to be approximately $11,703 per year, giving a simple payback of project costs in two years!

Learn more about our project with Kampel Enterprises

Read more success stories