Purdue proposes $58.8 million advanced manufacturing institute
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Purdue University President Martin C. Jischke proposed today (Tuesday, 5/20) establishing a $58.8 million advanced manufacturing institute that would provide applied research to Indiana manufacturing, especially in emerging technologies.
Also participating at Summit 2: Advancing Manufacturing were Lt. Gov. Joe Kernan; Don K. Gentry, Purdue's vice provost for engagement; Patrick Kiely, president and CEO of the Indiana Manufacturers Association; and Lee Lewellen, vice president of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP).
The announcement came in the wake of a CICP-sponsored study on the feasibility of an advanced manufacturing institute to do research for Indiana manufacturers and help them bring to market products made possible by advances in the biosciences, nanotechnology and fuel-cell technology.
The institute also would be a magnet to attract manufacturers to locate plants in Indiana. The plan was presented to CICP on May 12, said John Schneider, Purdue's assistant vice president for industry research/outreach.
"We envision this institute to be a non-profit, limited-liability company located in, or near, the Purdue Research Park," Jischke told the summit audience in Fowler Hall. "While drawing on Purdue's engineering, technological and management expertise and resources, it makes sense that the institute be independent of the university so there is less concern for issues such as confidentiality, classified information and intellectual property."
The institute would help Indiana manufacturers with design methods, process technology, organizational structures, and worker skills and training. The CICP-sponsored study concluded advanced manufacturing methods need to be instituted in large and small companies in all of the state's manufacturing sectors: automotive, food processing, electronics, steel and pharmaceuticals.
Lt. Gov. Joe Kernan, who serves as director of the Indiana Department of Commerce, said, "Indiana is already a leader in the research and development that makes advanced manufacturers successful. This institute would build on that and put us in an even better position for future business and job growth."
Jischke, Kiely and Lewellen responded to questions from an audience of more than 400 Indiana manufacturers, representatives of state agencies and academics.
Schneider said, "We started a conversation at last year's advanced manufacturing summit about whether Purdue's engineering, technical and managerial resources could be put into service to help Indiana's manufacturing companies. Since then, we've surveyed Indiana manufacturers, and they are overwhelmingly supportive of the concept."
Richard J. Giromini, chief operating officer of Lafayette-based Wabash National, said his company already hires Purdue industrial engineers and sees the advanced manufacturing institute as a potential advantage over the competition. Wabash National designs, manufactures and markets truck trailers and is one of the largest trailer manufacturers in the world.
"We're in a cost-sensitive business," Giromini said. "I can see the advanced manufacturing institute helping us in the materials area, for example, developing lighter, stronger, cost-efficient materials that our competitors who aren't located across the river from a Purdue don't have access to."
Purdue officials also talked to state legislators and Indiana's congressional delegation about an advanced manufacturing institute. They also were supportive of the concept.
"The questions now are of capitalization and sustainability," Schneider said.
The $58.8 million figure covers the first six years of operation of the institute, which would be staffed by 130 scientists and engineers. The institute would have a board made up of representatives from Indiana manufacturing, state government and universities.
It is anticipated that 75 percent of start-up funding for the institute would come from federal government agencies. The rest would come from private sources and contract fees from industry. Initially, the institute would lease facilities to keep costs down.
Jischke said the start-up funds were projected to yield $200 million of applied manufacturing research in the institute's first 10 years.
In addition to the advanced manufacturing institute announcement and discussion, Summit 2: Advanced Manufacturing included a luncheon talk by Purdue alumnus and benefactor Richard E. Dauch, co-founder, chairman and CEO of American Axle & Manufacturing and vice chairman of the board of the National Association of Manufacturers.
Writer: Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077, email@example.com
Sources: Martin Jischke, (765) 494-9708
Joe Kernan, (317) 232-2464
John Schneider, (765) 494-5532, firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Giromini, (765) 771-5698, email@example.com
Patrick Kiely, (317) 632-2474, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lee Lewellen, (317) 638-2440, email@example.com
Purdue President Martin C. Jischke (right) answers a question about the feasibility of an advanced manufacturing institute today (Tuesday, 5/20) at a conference that attracted more than 400 Indiana manufacturers, educators and state government officials. The proposed $58.8 million institute would do applied research for manufacturers and help them bring emerging technologies to market. Also answering questions about the proposed institute were Patrick Kiely (center), president and CEO of the Indiana Manufacturers Association; and Lee Lewellen (far left), vice president of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)
A publication-quality photograph is available at ftp://ftp.purdue.edu/pub/uns/jischke.ami.jpeg.
Lt. Gov. Joe Kernan was one of the speakers at Summit 2: Advancing Manufacturing that attracted more than 400 Indiana manufacturers, educators and state government officials. The proposed $58.8 million institute would do applied research for manufacturers and help them bring emerging technologies to market. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)
A publication-quality photograph is available at ftp://ftp.purdue.edu/pub/uns/kernan.ami.jpeg.
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