July 28, 2016

Purdue Polytechnic forges partnership with new manufacturer

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —Purdue University will be a major research and education partner with Italpollina, an Italian fertilizers and specialty plant nutrition company.

Company leaders are talking with Purdue leaders to establish research and development partnerships as Italpollina builds its North American headquarters next to the new Purdue Polytechnic facility in Anderson, Indiana.

Italpollina broke ground at the site in June with plans to finish work on the facility in the spring. It is expected to employ 35 people.

"Purdue will be a great partner," said Luca Bonini, Italpollina CEO. "We are going to want to do this for the long term, not just a trial period. Purdue will be the focus of our development for the future. We are on the same page talking about development and openness. We have the right feeling with all the people at Purdue and the Flagship Center in Anderson."

From education to economic development, state officials are enthusiastic about adding a new type of manufacturer in the state.

"International companies like Italpollina can choose to establish operations and create new jobs anywhere on the globe," said Victor Smith, Indiana Secretary of Commerce. "That's why it's crucial that high-quality programs like the Purdue Polytechnic Institute continue to grow and thrive across our state, teaching Hoosiers critical skills while advancing research in advanced manufacturing technology.

"Today our state is home to the largest concentration of manufacturing jobs in the nation, and growing enrollment at the Purdue Polytechnic Institute – especially with construction of its new facilities in Anderson – will support increasing demand from Indiana's growing manufacturing industry."

In addition to connecting with Anderson leaders, Bonini has been working with Geanie Umberger, associate dean for engagement for Purdue Polytechnic Institute, to make connections within the Purdue University system.

"We are developing a strategic relationship to help with research and workforce education, as well as other opportunities as they present themselves," Umberger said.

She helped Bonini make connections in the College of Agriculture, including Karen Plaut, senior associate dean for research and faculty affairs, and several faculty members.

"We are very excited to be developing collaborations with Italpollina. We see tremendous potential to do research that will benefit Italpollina and benefit the citizens of Indiana," Plaut said.

Italpollina's presence in the state also will benefit Purdue students in Anderson.

"We're excited about the partnership and their facilities. Italpollina is highly automated," said Corey Sharp, director of Purdue Polytechnic Anderson. "Our students could have great internship and career opportunities there. We're excited to see how technology and automation work in a different sector. Their facility will be the future of agriculture and science." 

Writer: Brian L. Huchel, 765-494-2084, bhuchel@purdue.edu 

Sources: Geanie Umberger, Associate Dean for Engagement, 765-496-3723, gumberger@purdue.edu

Corey Sharp, Director, Purdue Polytechnic Anderson, 765-648-2920, sharp22@purdue.edu

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