Research Foundation News

October 17, 2018

Discovery Park District lays ‘Welcome’ mat with construction of 145,000-square-foot, five-story building

Convergence Center will be front door to $1+ billion transformative development on west side of Purdue campus

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Construction is underway on the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration, a five-story building that will serve as the entryway to Discovery Park District, a 400-acre uniquely designed purpose-driven community on the western edge of the Purdue University campus.

Convergence rendering The Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration will be a 145,000-square-foot, five-story office building in the Discovery Park District. Construction is underway and should be completed by December 2019. The center will serve as the entryway to the university for those interested in technology commercialization and startups. (Rendering provided by Browning Investments LLC) Download image

The $1+ billion district includes laboratories, advanced manufacturing facilities, offices, retail shops, restaurants, housing, green space, trails and an airport with a 7,000-foot runway. The Convergence Center, situated along State Street, will be a resource hub for innovation, technology commercialization and entrepreneurial activities, and include a large lobby and plaza spaces for engagement and business activity and retail space on the first floor.

“The Convergence Center is going to be an extraordinary place where people connect and develop ideas and pursue solutions. It’s where researchers from different areas of study will break down academic silos and work together to find answers,” said David Broecker, chief innovation and collaboration officer at the Purdue Research Foundation. “It will lead to innovations about smart cars, smart homes and smart cities. It will become a hotbed for tech savvy companies that want to test new innovations in collaboration with those at a premier research university.”

Companies interested in locating in the Convergence Center should contact Broecker at dabroecker@prf.org or Adam Chavers, senior vice president at Browning, at 317-344-7333.

“We are excited that several global firms have already reserved space in the convergence. These companies see the value of being on campus near the research, students and technologies they want for their businesses,” Broecker said.

The center aligns with Purdue's "Giant Leaps" celebrating the university’s global advancements made in health, AI, space and sustainability as part of Purdue’s 150th anniversary. Those are the four themes of the yearlong celebration’s Ideas Festival, designed to showcase Purdue as an intellectual center solving real-world issues. The Convergence Center addresses multiple Ideas Festival themes.

“The Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration will serve as the front door for those interested in the technology commercialization of the university. Now, future entrepreneurs, innovators, industry and venture capitalists will know where to go to help us advance Purdue’s technologies and startup companies to commercial success,” Purdue Research Foundation President Brian Edelman said. “The district will transform the western side of the Purdue campus and turn it into a diverse community for those who live in the Greater Lafayette area and for those who visit our campus.”

The center is the second large construction project started in the Discovery Park District in less than a month. A groundbreaking ceremony was held in Sept. 21 for SEL Purdue Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, founded by Purdue alumnus Edmund O. Schweitzer III, who is building a 100,000-square-foot-facility for electric power research that will support more than 300 high-tech jobs.

SEL Purdue is the second international corporation to land in the Discovery Park District, joining Rolls-Royce, which conducts jet engine research and has offices in the Purdue Technology Center Aerospace building.

The Convergence Center also will bring the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and business accelerator, the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, the Purdue Office of Corporate and Global Partnerships and other Purdue assets under one roof, and other tech transfer and entrepreneurial activities in one place.

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said the Convergence Center and the Discovery Park District continue the long-standing symbiotic town-and-gown relationship between the city and Purdue that promotes smart growth and provides gateways into the university, pointing to the $46 million construction of U.S. 231 that was completed in 2013 and the $120 million State Street Project that is being completed.

“West Lafayette and Purdue University work together to make certain our efforts support and complement each other and to ensure that this area continues to be a good place to live, work and play for students and residents,” Dennis said. “Our goal is already being realized with the outstanding businesses like SEL Purdue that offer high-tech, high-paying jobs and improve the lives of all in the Greater Lafayette Area. The Convergence Center will, no doubt, enhance these advancements even further.”

Dave Roberts, chief innovation officer for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, said the center will benefit the entire state.

“Because of Indiana’s thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem and network of world-class universities like Purdue University, Hoosiers are helping advance breakthrough research and propel new technologies to market that are changing the way the world works,”
Roberts said. “We’re excited to help launch the Convergence Center in Purdue’s Discovery Park District and look forward to the innovative ideas and startup companies that will be formed from the tremendous collaboration here in Indiana.”  

Construction is expected to be completed by December 2019. 

Purdue Research Foundation contact:  Tom Coyne, 765-588-1044, tjcoyne@prf.org 

Sources:
Brian Edelman, 765-588-1040, beedelman@prf.org

David Broecker, dabroecker@prf.org

John Dennis, 765-775-5103, mayor@westlafayette.in.gov

Dave Roberts, 317-232-8800

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