Purdue, WestGate, Battery Innovation Center, and other Indiana groups to partner on technology research, commercialization

Published: September 1, 2015

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., ODON, Ind. and NEWBERRY, Ind. – Indiana's economic base could grow even more through an agreement among several Indiana-based technology leaders who will pool resources to increase research grant awards, innovation activities and commercialization translation in the state, officials announced Tuesday (Sept. 1).

Purdue Research Foundation’s Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Foundry and Purdue's Discovery Park in West Lafayette; WestGate Technology Park, a tri-county certified technology park located in Greene, Daviess, and Martin counties; and the Battery Innovation Center will lead a consortium to jointly apply for sponsored research grants to support research and development of innovations and move new technologies through commercialization, collaboration and entrepreneurship.

"Purdue, WestGate and the state of Indiana have some of the greatest researchers in the world, and the innovations coming out of their work has improved the quality of life for millions around the world," said Chad Pittman, vice president of the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization. "Since we already collaborate on several research projects, it makes sense that we would collectively take our efforts to the next level of development and move innovation through the commercialization process together. This collective focus is a great opportunity for all involved."

Purdue is a member of the Battery Innovation Center and has previously sponsored educational exchange opportunities at WestGate. Most recently, the Purdue Research Foundation's Office of Technology Commercialization signed an agreement with NSWC Crane to host Crane’s intellectual property that is patented and available for licensing on Purdue’s innovation web pages. Through this new effort to increase collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship, Purdue is committing to provide additional resources and talent.

The Purdue Research Foundation's Office of Technology Commercialization will assist in hosting and commercializing intellectual property for partner entities.

Purdue's faculty directors in the Deliberate Innovation for Faculty program will provide supporting roles for WestGate and Battery Innovation Center researchers who want to translate their innovations to the public through the commercialization process. Purdue plans to establish a full-time presence within WestGate and the Battery Innovation Center to advance research opportunities and provide commercialization resources. Purdue Foundry will assist with mentoring opportunities for startups at WestGate and the Battery Innovation Center. Purdue also is implementing an Entrepreneurial Graduate Track at Purdue and WestGate through the Krannert School of Management that provides graduate students with specifics about how to move innovations to the market.

WestGate and the Battery Innovation Center will provide resources and space to accommodate partners in the enterprise. The Battery Innovation Center also plans to sponsor a senior design project with Purdue, where selected students will collaborate with battery researchers to advance energy storage technology.

"This partnership is a reflection of the strong collaborative environment within the state, region and among the research institutions in the state of Indiana. All of the partners have a deep bench of talented researchers and the resources to effectively move innovations to the public," said Duane Embree, executive director of the Indiana Office of Defense Development. "We believe that by combining these resources we can substantially increase the number, quality and speed in which discoveries are moved to the market through patents, startups and technology licensing deals."

Other partners in the collaboration include the University of Southern Indiana's SwISTEM Resource Center, an equipment lending service located in WestGate, and Radius Indiana, a regional partnership encompassing eight counties in South Central Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington.

The project will be managed by a board of advisers composed of local and state stakeholders, as well as educational and economic partners to be named.

The technologies produced by the consortium group include a number of strategic industries including life sciences, health care, defense, information technology, manufacturing and agricultural science.

"This partnership is a reflection of the strong collaborative environment within the state, region and among the research institutions in the state of Indiana" said Victor Smith, Indiana secretary of commerce. "These types of collaborations are what drive continued economic growth in Indiana." 

 About Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university's academic activities. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year by the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at innovation@prf.org

About Purdue Foundry

The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship whose professionals help Purdue innovators create startups. Managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, the Purdue Foundry received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year by the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org

About Purdue's Discovery Park

Discovery Park is an interdisciplinary research complex launched by Purdue in 2001. The park surpassed the $1 billion milestone in 2015 for the amount of generated sponsored research, private gifts and endowments. Researchers in the park are tackling challenges in areas ranging from energy, cancer treatment, nanotechnology, drug discovery and the environment to health care, life sciences, and innovative learning in the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

About WestGate

Many professionals, elected officials, business leaders, and civic figures have worked for the development of a technology park adjacent to NSWC-Crane Division. WestGate@Crane Technology Park partners with a variety of organizations and businesses such as local and state economic development corporations, NSWC-Crane Division, I-69 Innovation Corridor, Indiana Office of Defense Development, and WorkOne. WestGate@Crane Tech Park is the ideal location for business to grow and thrive.

About Battery Innovation Center

The Battery Innovation Center (BIC) project is a collaborative initiative designed to incorporate leadership from renowned universities, government agencies, and commercial enterprises to focus on the rapid development, testing and commercialization of safe, reliable and lightweight energy storage systems for defense and commercial customers.

About the Indiana Office of Defense Development

The Indiana Office of Defense Development (IODD) was created through an executive order by the Governor on his first day in office in 2013, with a focused effort on expanding the defense sector business in Indiana by keeping and growing high value defense and national security jobs for Hoosiers. The IODD is part of the Lieutenant Governor's family of businesses, which also includes the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Office of Tourism Development, Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.

About University of Southern Indiana SwISTEM Resource Center

The focus of SwISTEM is on improvement of STEM-related education through curriculum redesign, realignment and professional development for educators in the nine counties within the region.

About Radius Indiana

Radius Indiana is a regional partnership representing eight counties in South Central Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington counties. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a primary point of contact in Indiana for Crane. Radius Indiana is a results-driven, innovative regional leader for economic development activities, improving the economic well-being of Southern Indiana. 

Writer: Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340, casequin@prf.org

Sources: Chad Pittman, 765-588-3475, capittman@prf.org  

Duane Embree, JDement@iodd.IN.gov

Victor Smith, 317-234-2294