An outsider’s inside view of Pittsburgh

The following appeared in “Letter to the Editor” in the Pittsburgh Business Times on 3 July 2019 at: 

“I have been coming over to Pittsburgh from the UK for 35 years ever since I met my future wife whilst I was working at Price Waterhouse in the 1980’s whilst on tour from the London office. Now it’s easy to get here with the re-instatement of the daily direct flight from Heathrow; easy for me and my wife and easy for business people from the UK seeking to invest in Pittsburgh.  Over those 35 years I have seen Pittsburgh transform itself from a once mighty, steel and industrial city into a vibrant emerging technology centre. 

Much has been done to stimulate innovation and growth in Pittsburgh, particularly with the exciting new technologies coming out of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. One of my students has been researching US ecosystems for his bachelor’s degree project. I suggested that he use Pittsburgh as a case study. Using a unique metrics dataset he showed that Pittsburgh ranks 12th out of 24 cities analysed, with the San Francisco Bay Area not surprisingly in 1st position. Pittsburgh achieved high rankings for the rate at which its technology labour force is growing, its relative low cost of doing business and low cost of living and its overall investment deal activity.

With these attributes and its cutting edge technologies in AI, robotics, autonomous vehicles, gaming and biotech Pittsburgh surely has the ingredients to develop into a dominant tech ecosystem in the US. And with the new direct flight from London hopefully there will be opportunities for more business people from the UK to experience the wealth of what Pittsburgh has to offer”.

Keith Arundale, PhD
Senior Visiting Fellow, Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK