The number of Lehigh University students who have worked with clients of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP) in projects through the Lehigh University Enterprise Systems Center (ESC) has topped 2,000. The ESC is a key university resource to BFTP/NEP clients that provides pivotal technical expertise and support.
Linking regional early-stage technology firms and established manufacturer clients with the resources of Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities is an important part of BFTP/NEP’s mission. ESC has been a longtime economic development partner of Ben Franklin — the organizations have worked together for more than 30 years.
The proximity of BFTP/NEP’s Ben Franklin TechVentures headquarters and award-winning business incubator on Lehigh’s Mountaintop Campus facilitates the mutually beneficial relationship among Ben Franklin client companies and university faculty, students, industry mentors and consultants. The partnership helps companies by providing them with student workers who are bright, driven and ambitious, and who challenge assumptions. The program also provides students with real-world working experience in commercializing technology, preparing them to become the next generation of industry leaders in key technical sectors.
Since the start of the partnership, ESC has employed more than 2,000 Lehigh students to support BFTP/NEP clients. The ESC has provided course-related hands-on experience to an additional 1,250 students.
About the Lehigh University Enterprise Systems Center
The Lehigh University Enterprise Systems Center (ESC) has been a national center of excellence in systems engineering and leadership development through experiential learning for several decades. The ESC engages students, professors, senior fellows, subject matter experts, community of practice executives and industry partners to help companies develop new technologies or apply existing technologies and compete in a global marketplace.
Since its inception, the ESC has engaged in more than 1,000 research and development projects with more than 400 industry partners. These efforts are driven by industry needs and focus on operations research, manufacturing systems, product and process innovation, supply chain and logistics analytics, and sustainability.
“Our primary mission is twofold,” says Center Director Dr. Emory Zimmers. “The Enterprise Systems Center (ESC) is committed to helping students learn and develop leadership skills, while simultaneously providing value for our clients.”
About the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania
The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP), an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, creates and retains highly paid, sustainable jobs by linking companies with experts, universities, funding, and other resources to help them prosper through innovation.
Since beginning operation, BFTP/NEP has helped to create 16,986 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 23,761 existing jobs, to start 482 new companies, and to develop 1,433 new products and processes. Since 2007, BFTP/NEP clients have generated $1.424 billion in follow-on funding. The Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Partners network has returned $3.60 to the state treasury for every $1 invested in the program.
BFTP/NEP owns, manages and is headquartered in Ben Franklin TechVentures, an award-winning business incubator/post-incubator facility on Lehigh University’s campus in Bethlehem, PA. BFTP/NEP also manages the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center in Bloomsburg.