Keystone Innovation Zone

The Keystone Innovation Zones (KIZs) are a part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s economic stimulus package. These zones gather and align the combined resources of educational institutions, private business, business support organizations, commercial lending institutions, and venture capital to foster innovation, patent development and technological advances to create entrepreneurial opportunities.

The NW Commission serves as the agent and coordinator for KIZ geographic designations in Clarion, Crawford, Mercer and Warren counties.

Target Industry Clusters

Identified focus areas were selected from an analysis conducted by an independent consultant and the resources and expertise of the member institutions of higher education along with KIZ partners.

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Clean Technology/Green Technology
  • Information Technology
  • Life Sciences


  • Annual Transferable KIZ Tax Credits
  • Preferential consideration for DCED Programs
  • Micro Capital Assistance Grants
  • Access to Regional Universities’ R&D Teams
  • Networking, Case Management
  • Internship Programs
  • Site Selection Assistance
  • Entrepreneurship Development Assistance
  • Intellectual Property Rights Assistance
  • Grant Writing Assistance

NWPA KIZ Registration
KIZ Tax Credit
Northwest KIZ Micro Grant

Eligibility Criteria

A company may be eligible for benefits offered by the KIZ Program if it meets these three qualifications:

  • In Operation Eight Years or Less
  • Located within a Designated KIZ Geographical Area
  • Operating within a Targeted Industry Cluster

Geographic Designations / Maps

Clarion County – Maps

Clarion Area
Clarion University Campus-Clarion Downtown Business District
Clarion University-Clarion Borough
Clarion Downtown Business District Detail 5th-7th Ave
Clarion Downtown Business District Detail-Goss Building
Clarion Downtown Business District Detail-Rutkowski/Selker
Clarion Downtown Business District Detail-Walker/Selker2
Paint Township Industrial Park
Clarion Biotechnology Center at Trinity Point
Redbank Renaissance, New Bethlehem

Crawford County – Maps

City of Meadville
Allegheny College Campus
North St/Park Ave & Penn Plaza
North St & Park Ave Detail 1
North St & Park Ave Detail 2
North St & Park Ave Detail 3
Meadville Industrial Complex and Business Incubator
Crawford Business Park
Ernst KIZ
Titusville Area
University of Pittsburgh at Titusville Campus
Titusville Opportunity Park
Towne Square Conference Center

Mercer County – Maps

Mercer County KIZ (Except Greenville, Reynolds, & HermitageAreas)
Greenville Business District
UPMC Horizon Facility

 McNeilly Business Center
Thiel College Campus
Greenville Enterprise Center
Greenville-Reynolds Development
Linden Pointe

Warren County – Map

Warren County Industrial Complex

Additional Programs of Interest

Research & Development Tax Credit

Small Business Innovation Research &
Small Business Technology Transfer
The goal of these programs is to increase private-sector commercialization innovations, use small businesses to meet federal R&D needs, and to foster and encourage participation by minorities and disadvantaged persons in technological innovation. The grants fund Phase I feasibility, Phase II prototype development and testing, and Phase III commercialization based on the federal solicitations for research topics. These topics offer the best opportunities for new patent development and ultimate commercialization due to the federal government’s identification of the need for a particular innovation or problem solving technique.  Topics for SBIR appear in individual Agency’s SBIR & STTR Solicitations under “Funding Opportunities Announcements” on their respective websites.  The Agencies are:

Department of Agriculture
Department of Commerce
Department of Defense
Department of Education
Department of Energy
Department of Health & Human Services
Department of Homeland Security/HSARPA
Department of Transportation
Environmental Protection Agency
National Science Foundation

In addition, grant opportunities can also be found at Grants.Gov There is a place on this page that you can subscribe to an email service that will notify you of new grant postings.

Target Industry Representatives

First Energy, Clean Technology Representative
Greenville Neuromodulation Services, Life Sciences Representative
Bright Hospitality, IT Industry Representative


Allegheny College
Clarion University
Thiel College
University of Pittsburgh – Titusville
Northwest Savings Bank
Ben Franklin Technology Partners
Northwest Industrial Resource Center
Regional Center for Workforce Excellence
West Central Job Partnership
SBDC Clarion University
SBDC Gannon University
Redevelopment Authority of Titusville
Clarion County Economic Development Corporation
Greenville Area Economic Development Corporation
Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry
Northwest Commission
Meadville Redevelopment Authority
Economic Progress Alliance
Penn-Northwest Commission
National City Bank
Northwest PA Chapter, National Tooling & Machine Association

Entrepreneur Answer Zone

Entrepreneurial & Business Development Information

Economic Development Resources

Provides descriptions of regional economic development and assistance agencies that help entrepreneurs and companies developing new technologies and products.

Training Opportunity
Intellectual Property

Information Sources

Search Grant Opportunities

Reference Source for SBIR Topics including Open Solicitations, Closed Solicitations, and Past Awards

DCED Resources

 The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 
For more information about I.P. for small businesses

 The World Intellectual Property Organization 
For more about international
I.P. rights

An easy-to-use online global directory 
For I.P. resources

 Google’s patent site 
To perform your patent search
You can also search here and here

Patently-O by Dennis Crouch
One of the most popular blogs on the subject of I.P. law