The Pittsburgh Technology Council has released its State of the Industry Report for 2022. The annual report covers statistics for Information Technology, Life Sciences, Environmental Technology, Energy, and more. As expected coming out of COVID-19 lockdowns, the report gives us our first insight as to the shape of the tech industry in Pittsburgh and surrounding counties.

Quick highlights from the report are:

  • $128,000 was the average wage of a IT worker in Pittsburgh region
  • The technology sector accounts for 24% of the workforce and 36% of wages.
  • University research funding was 1.7B which is up 10.6% from previous three years.
  • Patents issued to local universities, including CMU, were over 200 in 2021.
Reed McManigle showing off his socks as part of the State of the Industry Report Panel. Foo Conner | Jekko.

Reed McManigle, the Senior Manager of Licensing and Business Development for Carnegie Mellon University, dominated the panel dropping facts. Most notably, that university patent applications are on the rise across the region. Barry Rabkin, of Near Earth Autonomy described the atmosphere of innovation for Appalachia. While there have been notable failures and successes, ultimately he highlighted they’re located in Pittsburgh as opposed to Silicon Valley. Lastly, not shy of taking moonshots, Astrobotic’s Alivia Chapla paints an exciting future with companies not just making profits but history.

The small panel with sophisticated IPA drinking audience shifted to the question at hand: What to do with the good news?

In the past, you’d expect to see organizations like the Allegheny Conference or the Rand Think Tank, designing a report like this and marketing it. But those are days are old and their power is as strong as a rusted sword. Today, after the panel, the room led by Audry Russo‘s dog, became the power players as they started to ask, “What can we do to develop the tech industry? How can we make next year better?”

Though it sounds natural, much of the technology industry in Pittsburgh is siloed. The quarantine years didn’t help. Despite large conferences dotting convention halls and hotels last month, the major steps feel like they came from this small room. The state of the industry is well, and if these technology industry rockstars, and dog, collaborate we could be seeing history being written – or at least a new line on Wikipedia.

Foo is the founder of Jekko. Unlike other publishers, Foo attends thousands of events, interviews personalities from startups to Fortune 500s, and blows stuff up on YouTube.