So where do we focus now? My concept of “Home Grown” is:

1. Invest in K -12 and adult technical and digital skils training that can lead to high-paying jobs for high school and technical school graduates and to higher education for those who want to pursue it. The new buzz word in public education is STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math). Such an advanced workforce development program must reach out especially to under served children and families in poor urban neighborhoods and mill towns. How much talent are we wasting because of lack of access to training and technology? If it is home grown, it stays and grows.

2. Develop a robust regional financial strategy with public and private money for investing in startup businesses and expansion of existing businesses rather than chasing after and offering concessions to outside companies that ate being pursued by every other region. If it is home grown, it stays and grows.

That way we can control our destiny by growing and retaining our own talent and our own job-producing companies.

John Rohe, vice-president of Philanthropy, Colcom Foundation

The Next Big Thing might just be the Last Old Thing. Today’s big issues will require us to become less dependent on resource depletion. Life will be run on a softer carbon footprint with fewer consumables.

Priorities are already changing. People are returning to urban centers where employment and family life can be experienced on a pedestrian scale. This suggests time is becoming a more cherished commodity, our appreciation for community is on the rise, and quality of life can be achieved with fewer resources.

Pittsburgh’s historic urban design was calibrated to these objectives. It preceded automobility. The template carved by Pittsburgh’s 18th century street grid, parks, and community centers represented the highest state of the art in human habitation at the time. It resulted from lessons learned during 10,000 years of civic life following the domestication of plants and animals. And it’s all still here. The enactments of this civilization remain etched on the land.

The next big thing, community life with a softer ecological footprint, awaits no discovery, just rediscovery.

Lynn Brusco, Executive Director of the Disruptive Health Technology Institute

Last June, Carnegie Mellon University formed the Disruptive Health Technology Institute (DHTI) with support from Allegheny Health Network and Highmark to create  an environment where healthcare innovations can be clinically tested and rapidly delivered to patients.

“Disruptive technology is the driver behind innovation. Quite often, whenever a breakthrough approach is introduced, industry incumbents find innovation to be impractical and even disruptive to the status quo. But over time, many disruptive technologies prove to be better and more cost effective than conventional products or services they are replacing. For instance, disruptive technology has transformed the auto industry by introducing safer vehicle design at a more reasonable cost.”

Disruptive technologies can spur innovative changes in healthcare. Highmark and Allegheny Health Network have provided $11 million to CMU’s Disruptive Health Technology Institute to develop science and engineering that can simultaneously increase the affordability, simplicity and accessibility of health care for the people in our community and beyond.

Our projects are based on the results of more than a year of strategic horizon-mapping with CMU researchers, health care providers, physicians and industry leaders. Seven key areas were identified as the first focus for DHTI – accessibility of medical diagnostics, behavior change, chronic disease management, data mining, improved endoscopy, improved diagnostic ultrasound and infection prevention.  Five additional areas of focus will be added in 2014.

DHTI has launched its first series of research grants that span everything from helping patients with Parkinson’s Disease to development of a rapid diagnostic tool for detection of infection during surgery. There are promising possibilities for transforming the way healthcare is delivered to patients. At CMU, we are excited to be a part of this pioneering paradigm shift.