Finding a cure for cancer. Seeking in the tiniest of particles solutions to the world's big problems through nanotechnology and biotechnology. Discovering an economical and environmentally cleaner alternative to fossil fuel. Reinventing a health-care system that is more affordable, efficient, and effective. Developing advanced technology to make manufacturers more competitive globally.
In 2001, Purdue University's Discovery Park was just an idea, launched with a $5 million commitment from the state of Indiana for a nanotechnology center.
Today, it's a $400 million research and learning complex of 11 dynamic centers, where more than 1,000 faculty members and 3,000 students are using an interdisciplinary approach to tackle the grand challenges of today, whether that is curing cancer or employing technological discoveries to fuel a competitive edge for Indiana manufacturers.
Through Discovery Park, we're redefining the public university. We're exploring the sciences and technologies that will change the way we live and work, engaging every corner of this campus and helping generate economic development for our state and nation.
Lilly Endowment helped give birth to Discovery Park through a $26 million gift in October 2001. From that, the first six centers were launched: the Bindley Bioscience Center, the Birck Nanotechnology Center, the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, the Center for Advanced Manufacturing, the Discovery Learning Research Center, and the e-Enterprise Center.
Four years later, Lilly Endowment challenged Purdue to expand the mission of Discovery Park and contributed another $25 million. Thanks to that investment, Purdue created the Cyber Center, the Energy Center, the Center for the Environment, and the Oncological Sciences Center.
The Regenstrief Center, which is applying engineering and systems management and science principals to this nation's growing health-care problem, became the park's 11th major center in summer 2008.
Leveraging Lilly Endowment's investment more than six-fold, Discovery Park has created an innovative environment where our major challenges are examined objectively, generating new ideas and direction for future generations. Seven of the 11 centers today have buildings in Discovery Park, offering some the most advanced research facilities on any university campus:
• The $58 million Birck Nanotechnology Center
And plans are under way for an $25 million building to house the Discovery Learning Research Center and other university centers, including Purdue's Alfred Mann Institute for Biomedical Development. The project is being funded largely through $11 million in gifts and $10 million from the capital reserve for buildings.
These state-of-the-art buildings have become a magnet for luring more than 300 of the brightest research and academic minds from around the world to West Lafayette, Indiana, helping us grow our faculty in strategic areas. They're helping Purdue expand its footprint in research ranging from health-care engineering to alternative energy sources.
Discovery Park also has helped Purdue establish stronger relationships with universities and institutions from around the world — specifically India, Australia, China, Japan, and Singapore.
Purdue has attracted more than $180 million in sponsored research in the first five years of Discovery Park's interdisciplinary search for solutions to society's grand challenges.
You'll see how Purdue's Discovery Park has become a global leader, especially in the areas of nanotechnology, advanced manufacturing, life sciences, information technology, health-care engineering, innovative learning, environmental management, business development, homeland security, and systems management.
And you'll see how Discovery Park's 11 centers are tackling key challenges, collectively working side by side with each other and drawing researchers from across campus to collaborate on projects.
We invite you to experience how Discovery Park is meeting the evolving demands for the 21st century.
Alan Rebar, executive director of Discovery Park