From best places to work, to award-winning compostable plateware and $26M real estate purchases, Happy Valley companies are making the news. With its vibrant tech and research community, State College has a decades-long history of producing life-changing tech products, leading cutting-edge research projects and hosting ambitious entrepreneurs ready to change the world. Here’s a quick look at some of the ways Happy Valley companies are making the news in 2020.
AccuWeather recently launched a fresh and completely redesigned app aimed at providing users with an enhanced experience. The app, launched July 20, provides convenient access to most-used features, faster load times, a sleek design and, of course, AccuWeather’s trusted and reliable forecasts. It expands the information available at a glance, which is helping users better plan for the hour, day or week ahead. And after thorough testing with robust feedback, both iOS and Android users will experience the heightened abilities of the app and enjoy the benefits of cutting-edge technology through an easily navigated platform.
EnergyCAP, Inc. (ECI) was named in Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces for 2020. The process involved data collection from thousands of applicants, selection of finalists, surveying of the company employees and assigning engagement scores. ECI rose to the top for its “total package” approach, according to ECI’s Founder & CEO, Steve Heinz, who cites quality relationships and meaningful work as the key to its human resource efforts resulting in fulfilled employees.
ECI is also playing a role in a global energy management software market study, which reports 2020 data and forecasts through 2026. Along with Energy Lens and Gridpoint, ECI is a major player in the study, which includes a review of manufacture analysis and resource and consumption in the energy management software market. For those in the industry, the report will provide a complete picture of necessary and relevant information on the current and forecasted market.
Eco-Products®, a Novolex® brand, has made its award-winning new product, VanguardTM, available nationwide. The VanguardTM plates, bowls and clamshells available are microwavable, grease-resistant and cut-resistant. In addition, they are the first products in its category to meet the new requirements of the Biodegradable Product Institute for compostability certification. All of this led to a first-place award for Innovation in Manufacturing at the 10th bi-annual Foodservice Packaging Awards competition. Eco-Products® promises more products to come in the VanguardTM line, but currently offers additional renewable products such as cups and utensils.
Penn State’s Applied Research Lab (ARL) is the hub of research in Happy Valley. Its expansive laboratory has several locations conducting cutting-edge research, including the Science Park location they purchased in July. ARL is settling down at its 225 Science Park Road location in State College.
The purchase follows suit with their five-year plan, which began in 2018, aimed at accommodating growth and expanding its research facilities after the U.S. Navy awarded them the largest research grant in Penn State history. They have since been acquiring property throughout the Cato and Science Park areas. The 225 Science Park Road location was built in 2009 specifically around the needs of ARL and it currently houses the undersea systems office. It was originally leased with the option to buy and the 6.5 acre lot with 120,890 square feet was officially purchased in July 2020 for $26.75M.
The wealth of information, products and services that comes out of Happy Valley will continue to grow throughout the Industry 4.0 revolution. The local tech companies, engineering firms and manufacturers are rising to the IIoT challenge and cranking out products and services that will transform their industry in 2020, and if history is any indication, for decades to come.
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