Gannon University is partnering with Erie Insurance – the region’s largest private
employer – to leverage the university’s resources in its Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge, or I-HACK, to drive
continued economic revitalization of the Erie community through industry collaboration, as announced in a news
As part of the agreement, Erie Insurance has pledged $1 million in support of the ongoing construction of I-HACK.
Specifically, this gift will help create The Hatchery, a dedicated third-floor collaborative innovation space that will
integrate industry and professional development with academic creativity and learning.
Also announced today was an additional $1 million commitment by Erie Insurance as part of a service agreement
with the University.
The gift and partnership will lead to the creation of the Erie Insurance IDEA Lab, where Erie Insurance employees will
collaborate with Gannon students, faculty and other future corporate and research partners on real-world projects
that will impact the community.
Erie Insurance will interact in this shared environment to provide education, research and industry experiences for
specific workforce development and student employment during their academic years and following graduation.
Gannon will provide Erie Insurance, and a growing list of partners, with consulting services that support their
innovation and training needs establishing I-HACK as a powerful community asset for economic development.
The University will also offer courses in this space integrated into the school’s new program in innovation and
creativity that will begin in Fall 2021.
Tim NeCastro, president and CEO of Erie Insurance, spoke to the significance of this collaboration.
“As the name implies, The Hatchery here at Gannon University will be the birthplace of big and bold ideas and a
place where resources and meaningful connections come together to turn ideas into reality,” NeCastro said. “This
space is purpose-built for exactly that type of innovation work. By leading this effort, Gannon University will be able to
bring partnerships to the table to get the right students, faculty, businesses, entrepreneurs, and other experts aligned
around an idea and get stuff done.”
Gannon President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., called this an important day not just for Gannon but its ongoing relationship
with Erie Insurance as the two anchor institutions work to rebuild Erie’s downtown.
“We are proud to have Erie Insurance join this venture. This is a company that has done so much for this city and for
our institution. Today’s announcement is just one more way we are linked together in defining Erie’s history and our
future,” he said.