April 21, 2023

Fast Company: Purdue the 'most innovative university in America'

At Fast Company’s 2023 World’s Most Innovative Companies summit in April, Purdue University President Mung Chiang shared how Purdue is leading the way to fulfill U.S. semiconductor needs in research and development, workforce development and business growth. The initiatives led Fast Company editor in chief Brendan Vaughan to refer to Purdue as “the most innovative university in America.”

President Mung Chiang Purdue President Mung Chiang goes one-on-one with Fast Company staff writer Pavithra Mohan. (Image provided Fast Company) Download image

Representing Purdue as one of Fast Company’s World’s Most Innovative Companies, Chiang was invited to speak at the summit, a two-day virtual assembly of “innovative disrupters leading the companies that are transforming today’s industries and shaping society.” Chiang highlighted the development of the Semiconductor Degrees Program, a comprehensive undergraduate and graduate suite of degrees and credentials designed to meet the rapidly growing demand for trained engineers in this vital field.

“These semiconductor products are the foundation of our national security, economic security and job security across many digital economy industries,” Chiang told Fast Company staff writer Pavithra Mohan. “After tens of billions of tax dollars and hundreds of billions of private-sector investments are announced, one wonders, where do you find the workforce? By one estimate, we’re going to need 50,000 more semiconductor-related engineers in our country this decade alone.”

On Friday (April 14), the Purdue Board of Trustees approved Phase 1 of a $100M plan for semiconductor research and learning facilities as part of the three-pronged Purdue Computes initiative. Purdue also convened the full-day CHIPS for America: Execute for Success Summit Tuesday (April 18) in Washington, D.C., which included a panel with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and U.S. Sen. Todd Young.

R. Ethan Braden Purdue executive vice president and CMO R. Ethan Braden attended the Fast Company Most Innovative Honorees Dinner to accept Purdue’s award for being one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies. (Purdue University photo) Download image

Earlier this year, Fast Company editors ranked Purdue No. 16 among the World’s Most Innovative Companies and No. 1 in education, citing the university’s mission to solve the nationwide shortage of semiconductor engineers. Purdue follows OpenAI (at No. 1, developer of ChatGPT and Dall-E) and leads NASA (No. 17) and The Walt Disney Company (No. 25) as organizations “paving the way for the innovations of tomorrow” and “setting the standard with some of the greatest accomplishments of the modern world.” Overall, the list acknowledges 540 organizations across 54 categories and regions around the world.

Ethan Braden, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for Purdue University and Purdue University Global, represented Purdue at Wednesday’s (April 19) honoree dinner at the Hall des Lumières in New York City.

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