Jennifer Apicella Appointed Executive Director of Pittsburgh Robotics Network

Oct 30, 2023 | Announcement, News, Press Releases

Jennifer Apicella
Jennifer Apicella has been named the Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Robotics Network (Jim Harris/PBT)

Pittsburgh, PA – October 30, 2023 – The Pittsburgh Robotics Network (PRN) has announced the appointment of Jennifer Apicella as the Executive Director, effective immediately. Jennifer has been serving as the Interim Executive Director since May 2023 and previously held the position of Vice President of Partnerships and Programs since February 2021. Her dedication and proven leadership have been instrumental in advancing the mission of the PRN, which serves as the nexus for over 140 robotics organizations in the Greater Pittsburgh region.

“I am excited to be able to continue this work,  steering the Pittsburgh Robotics Network into a future brimming with collaborative growth and innovation. Together with our partners, we’ll continue to amplify Pittsburgh’s already well established standing as one of the top international hubs for robotics, automation and artificial intelligence,” said Jennifer Apicella.

“Our region’s robotics cluster is one of the most advanced and innovative in the world, and I am delighted to be able to expand this work, fostering a community that facilitates new opportunities for commercial growth and industry partnerships to accelerate the adoption of robotic solutions across the globe,” says Apicella. 

The PRN has also officially moved their offices into the Robotics Factory, located within the Tech Forge along Pittsburgh’s “Robotics Row.” The Robotics Factory, which is backed by Innovation Works, the Pittsburgh Robotics Network, and the Southwestern Pennsylvania New Economy Collaborative, serves as a catalyst for nurturing early stage robotics startups, expediting the commercialization of robotics solutions, and enhancing manufacturing capabilities. It’s through public and private partnerships like these that real impact can be achieved for the region.

Kevin Dowling, Chair of the Pittsburgh Robotics Network Board of Directors and Managing Director of the Robotics Factory, expressed his enthusiasm saying, “Jennifer’s appointment comes at a pivotal time, marking a new chapter for our region’s robotics ecosystem. Her proven ability to connect, inspire, and propel the robotics business community forward makes her the ideal leader to navigate the organization’s journey ahead.”

As the PRN embarks on this new chapter, the synergies between the Pittsburgh robotics business ecosystem and the broader global robotics sector is poised to reach new heights under Jennifer Apicella’s leadership. In June 2023 the PRN announced a strategic partnership with Denmark’s Odense Robotics, aimed at generating transatlantic business growth opportunities and solidifying ties between the two eminent global robotics ecosystems.

The Pittsburgh Robotics Network remains committed to empowering the region’s robotics organizations and further solidifying Pittsburgh’s position as an internationally recognized powerhouse in robotics and AI. “As our region continues to invest in providing new programs and resources to help grow our commercial robotics businesses, this will result in new companies here, who will then be able to provide more jobs in our community,” says Apicella.

The announcement comes as the PRN gears up for the highly anticipated Pittsburgh Robotics Discovery Day on November 16, 2023, an event showcasing the remarkable robotics community revolutionizing our world. Free and open to all, Pittsburgh Robotics Discovery Day offers business professionals, investors, entrepreneurs, job seekers, students, and the general public a myriad of opportunities to engage with Pittsburgh’s world-leading robotics ecosystem. The event, hosted at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, will feature over 130 exhibitors including notable organizations such as Aurora, Agility Robotics, and Carnegie Mellon University. Pittsburgh Robotics Discovery Day is supported by partnerships with the Southwestern Pennsylvania New Economy Collaborative, the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Innovation Works, and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission.

This year’s event will draw thousands to experience live demonstrations of the robots and AI technologies changing the way we live, move, and work, meet the humans making them possible, learn about various ways to get into the field – from traditional degrees to new training programs – and connect with the community organizations elevating our autonomy ecosystem. Attendees can experience four Discovery Zones — Robotics, Manufacturing, Career Pathways, and Community – with experiences ranging from hands-on demonstrations of advanced robotics technology and next generation manufacturing techniques to exploring career and business opportunities. The event’s Main Stage presentations will highlight the humans behind the robots, as well as provide a chance to hear from emerging robotics and AI companies during the Robotics Factory Startup Showcase. The event will culminate in a Robotics and Tech Happy Hour held onsite from 4 p.m. tp 6 p.m.

For more information about the Pittsburgh Robotics Network or the upcoming Pittsburgh Robotics Discovery Day, please visit