Delivering on discoveries will boost Purdue, economic development for Indiana, nation
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A new emphasis on extracting more economic value from sponsored research and intellectual property at Purdue University will help move more Purdue research to the marketplace faster and reduce the university's reliance on tuition and tax dollars.
Purdue President France A. Córdova announced Wednesday (Sept. 28) a three–part Decadal Funding Plan that will increase sources of revenue beyond tuition and state appropriations - the traditional sources for public university funding - by doubling financial capacity through continued cost-cutting, expanding online degree and professional education offerings, encouraging more robust use of campus facilities through summer teaching, and ramping up research commercialization.
A key element is restructuring the processes and incentives for research commercialization with the additional benefit of boosting economic development in Indiana through the creation of new businesses and products. The effort also invests in more entrepreneurial education and support for faculty, students and businesses.
"We intend to leverage our most valuable resources, a first-class faculty and an amazing group of students, to materially improve our performance in creating and supporting entrepreneurs, commercialization of new science and technology, and industry-university collaborations," Córdova said.
The Decadal Funding Plan initiative began in March and continued through the summer under the direction of Córdova; Tim Sands, executive vice president of academic affairs and provost; and Al Diaz, executive vice president of business and finance, treasurer. Thirteen groups of faculty and staff identified more than 50 strong revenue-generating ideas which were winnowed and prioritized into three areas: Efficient and Effective Purdue, Global Purdue and Innovative Purdue.
Efficient and Effective Purdue extends the cost-cutting and cost-containment efforts of the last two years and recommends revenue opportunities such as offering more classes through the summer to take advantage of existing facilities, which would increase tuition revenue, give faculty the option of earning summer pay and help students graduate in less time. Global Purdue would expand Purdue's online educational offerings and create more partnerships with companies and institutions around the world, such as the $10 million project recently announced between Purdue and Nanshan Group Co. Ltd., a leading aluminum company based in China.
Innovative Purdue has three major components. The first is the establishment of a center to offer seed grants and other funding for testing concepts, developing prototypes or participating in joint technology development projects with external partners. The second is the creation of an applied research corporation that will allow companies with proprietary technologies a way to contract Purdue help while safeguarding their intellectual property. The third creates an international academy to deliver non-degree professional and executive training for companies and individuals who need to swiftly understand new technologies in engineering and applied sciences or develop new business practices.
Richard Buckius, Purdue vice president for research, said he expects more faculty to engage in technology transfer when the support procedures and right incentives are put in place.
"Faculty want to make a difference, they want to make an impact. That's one of the main reasons people join a major research university. They want to see their ideas employed to benefit people," Buckius said.
In addition to technology transfer and commercialization support, the effort also will enhance and promote Purdue's slate of entrepreneurial programs.
Purdue offers a wide variety of programs to teach, develop and grow entrepreneurship. These programs are offered to groups ranging from high school and college students to university faculty and business professionals.
Through the programs, entrepreneurs - along with those hoping to become entrepreneurs - learn how to start and keep a venture successful. They can get help with networking, finding funding, securing licensing and patents, and finding a start-up site.
Among the entrepreneurship programs offered by Purdue:
Purdue Research Park Entrepreneurship Academy. The Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette offers the five-day summer academy to incoming Indiana high school juniors and seniors who demonstrate an aptitude in math, science and technology along with an interest in entrepreneurship. Purdue Research Foundation staff leads the academy with assistance from Purdue faculty, industry leaders and high-tech business entrepreneurs. Students work in teams on a fundamental business case to determine the best way to compete, identify capital needs to start a business and devise a plan for managing a business successfully. On the final day, teams give a 15-minute investor pitch to a panel of judges. Purdue tuition vouchers are awarded to the top three teams.
The Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program. This program delivers entrepreneurship education to undergraduate students in all majors. It complements a student's area of study by providing the knowledge and experience necessary to make entrepreneurship an accessible career option. The completion of five courses or experiential learning programs is required. Typically, this includes two core courses offered through the program, two option courses offered throughout Purdue's colleges, and one capstone course or experience. Upon completion of the requirements, a student receives a certificate and the credential is noted on his or her academic transcript.
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Learning Community. This program is designed for students in all majors who have an interest in being involved in new business ventures. Most ELC students participate in Purdue's Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program. ELC members live together in Harrison Hall, located near the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in Purdue's Discovery Park. The center offers access to valuable resources, including a world-class facility, experienced faculty and staff, seminars, and workshops.
Interns for Indiana. The Discovery Learning Research Center created the Interns for Indiana program through initial support from Lilly Endowment Inc. The program's goals are to offer students professional training through experiential learning, introduce students to occupational opportunities across the state and foster economic growth of local businesses through increased access to skilled labor. The program focuses on key state needs to enhance the quality of Indiana's workforce by providing experiences that lead more highly qualified Purdue students to seek in-state employment after graduation, while driving economic development and job creation through the support of high-tech startup companies. The program combines an internship in a startup company with professional development seminars and participant analyses of their experiences.
Technology Realization Program. This is a campus-wide program for Purdue graduate students that introduces and teaches the principles for moving ideas and technologies emerging from the lab bench out to the marketplace as a viable business opportunity. It aims to help graduate students understand the challenges of managing the development and introduction of new ideas or technologies along with starting and managing new business ventures. Utilizing a variety of functional perspectives, coursework focuses on developing skills relevant to developing new products and processes, introducing innovations, and developing new businesses, both inside existing organizations and as independent startups.
Biomedship. This program is designed to train graduate students about entrepreneurship and innovation in the medical device industry. It involves a partnership with Purdue's Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and Indiana University's School of Medicine. The course includes working in interdisciplinary teams with engineers, submitting a provisional patent application, presenting a business plan to experts, having the opportunity to start a medical device business and coaching from industry experts.
Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition. The competition provides resources for the construction of a viable business plan. It awards $100,000 in prize money as well as in-kind services and connections with the Purdue Research Park. Each year the competition culminates with five teams from the undergraduate student division and five teams from the graduate student division awarded finalist status and making formal presentations to the judges. Judges include venture capitalists, lawyers, accountants, consultants and successful entrepreneurs. The competition will mark its 25th year in 2012.
Life Sciences Business Plan Competition. This competition is aimed nationally at sophisticated life science technologies and services. It awards $40,000 in prize money and takes place every two years.
Nanotechnology New Ventures Competition. This is part of an initiative of Purdue University, the University of Notre Dame and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to promote nanotechnology discoveries and new ventures in Indiana. The competition aims to foster research and accelerate the commercialization of intellectual property in the nanotechnology arena within Indiana. It exemplifies the spirit of discovery-to-delivery by generating entrepreneurship opportunities and driving economic development of nanotechnology research. Participants compete for cash prizes totaling $57,000.
Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy. This is one of several activities supported through a Kauffman Campus grant from the Marion Ewing Kauffman Foundation. The long-term goals are to increase technology commercialization on the Purdue campus through education about the resources and support available at Purdue and the Purdue Research Park; enhance the capabilities of faculty who are interested in leading interdisciplinary research programs, centers and partnerships that might lead to translational activities; support faculty who are interested in developing graduate entrepreneurial courses or research projects; create a network of faculty with shared entrepreneurial interests; and introduce faculty to discussions about leadership skills and contribute to the cadre of the next generation of faculty leaders. Approximately 10 faculty members are selected for participation each year.
Faculty Entrepreneur-in-Residence. This program provides an opportunity to talk with an experienced faculty entrepreneur about early-stage commercialization and discuss general questions and issues. Purdue University biomedical engineering professor Alyssa Panitch has been named the first faculty entrepreneur-in-residence at Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. In this role, Panitch can connect faculty members with other Purdue resources and sources of information. She will serve as a resource for university faculty, staff and students looking to start a company from their work or research at Purdue. She also plans to create a network of faculty experts who can serve as a university-wide resource to help advance the university's commercialization efforts.
Fundraising Boot Camp. This is designed to help faculty, staff and students understand what it takes to be an entrepreneur. The event provides an opportunity to learn the do's and don'ts of starting a business in the context of assessing the possibilities the research has in a potential startup.
Entrepreneurial Task Force. The School of Industrial Engineering, through support of Purdue's College of Engineering, has created a task force aimed at maximizing the impact of innovation and entrepreneurship in a rapidly changing environment. The task force will address at least four areas, with a primary focus on "upstream" activities where engineering faculty members and students play a key role. Some of the key areas for activities include education; market-informed research, goal-oriented research and rapid organization of component research; industrial interaction and commercialization; and the handoff/interface between the research enterprise and downstream commercialization activity. The goal is for the Entrepreneurial Task Force to develop a unique approach to enhancing connections between research and productivity in commercialization.
Purdue Realization and Entrepreneurship Postdoctoral and Doctoral Program. Through this program, the university will encourage and support commercialization of Purdue research. The objective is to provide financial support to doctoral students or postdoctoral researchers so that they can pursue the commercialization of their research. The PREPP Fellows will be included in entrepreneurial support activities at the Burton Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. They also will be included in the Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy program. Fellows will be assigned an entrepreneurial adviser and will have access to an assigned Krannert MBA student for roughly five hours each week to assist with development of a business plan. The general expectation is that each fellow will develop and present a business plan early in the award period. Once approved, the fellow will implement the business plan.
Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities. This program provides cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small-business management to post-9/11 veterans disabled as a result of their military service. Krannert School of Management is one of seven participating university business schools. The training is offered without any cost to participants. The program is conducted in three phases: a self-study session in which veterans complete courses through online discussions moderated by university faculty; an intensive, seven-day on-campus residency session where veterans learn to develop their own business concepts and understand the basic elements of small-business management; and a 12-month mentorship with faculty experts at the participating universities. Since 2007 more than 300 wounded veterans have graduated from the EBV program.
Writer: Chris Sigurdson, 765-496-2644, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources: France A. Córdova, email@example.com
Richard Buckius, 765-494-6209, firstname.lastname@example.org