March 9, 2017

Discovery Park announces Big Idea Challenge winners

Following oral presentations on Feb. 23, a panel of judges and Discovery Park administration have reviewed the proposals and determined the winners of the Big Idea Challenge, a program that will provide resources to interdisciplinary teams of Purdue faculty and students pursuing bold proposals that address global challenges.

The winning proposals and principal investigators of the Big Idea Challenge competition that will receive funding are:

* Affordable Net Zero Housing and Transportation Solutions -- Leigh Raymond (Liberal Arts).

* Revolutionizing Control of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases -- Catherine Hill (Agriculture).

* Harnessing Technology and Info Fusion to Enable Resilient and Sustainable Food-Water Balance -- Dave Ebert (Engineering).

* Photonics Science and Technologies for Security, Energy and Healthcare Apps -- Yong Chen (Science).

* Realizing Next-Generation Smart Manufacturing -- Nate Hartman (Polytechnic).

* Towards Cyber-Physical Vetting of Critical Infrastructures -- Dongyan Xu (Science).

* Managing the Global Commons: Sustainable Ag and Use of World’s Land and Water Resources -- Tom Hertel (Agriculture).

Discovery Park received 46 proposals from more than 230 participants at Purdue, representing 10 colleges and 45 departments. All of the proposals received were endorsed by one, and in some cases more than one, of Discovery Park’s centers and institutes. The vast majority of proposals were cross-cutting in nature and aligned thematically across five major areas of research: global sustainability, global health, data science, nanotechnology and defense.

On March 21, Discovery Park will host a launch party honoring the winning teams from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Birck Nanotechnology Center atrium. All faculty, staff and students are invited to attend.

Discovery Park also plans to work with the teams that did not obtain funding to help them find other funding avenues to achieve their goals.

Writer: Amy Schlueter, 765-496-7823,

Source: Cliff Wojtalewicz, 765-496-3961,

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