Research Foundation News

November 9, 2018

Purdue@Westgate, launched last year, wins award for accelerating economic development in Indiana

Massey battery Scott Massey, CEO of Purdue-affiliated startup Heliponix, gives a pitch at the State of Indiana Technology Showcase held at Purdue@Westgate in July. Heliponix is seeking to redefine “farm-to-table” when it comes to garden vegetables by making an appliance that fits under a kitchen counter and grows produce year-round. (Image provided) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue@Westgate, a collaboration among WestGate AuthorityNaval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (NSWC Crane), Purdue University and Purdue Research Foundation, launched last year to advance educational, research and development, and technology commercialization has been recognized for accelerating economic development in Indiana.

The Indiana Association of Regional Councils, which represents 15 regional planning organizations throughout the state, announced Friday (Nov. 9) that it was presenting Purdue@Westgate, which is based next to Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (NSWC Crane) in south central Indiana, with its Accelerating Economic Development Award.

“It is great to see Purdue@Westgate being recognized for having an impact on economic development a little more than a year after getting started,” said Greg Deason, senior vice president for entrepreneurship and place making for the Purdue Research Foundation. “We thought we could replicate the success we’ve had at Purdue in creating startups jobs, and this award shows we are headed in the right direction.”

Wrightsman battery Ben Wrightsman, CEO of the Battery Innovation Center (BIC), which has a mission to accelerate innovation in the field of battery technology, talks about battery technology and Tesla at a monthly event held at Purdue@Westgate that offers an opportunity for entrepreneurs to network with other entrepreneurs and service providers. (Image provided) Download image

Since Mitch Daniels was named president of Purdue in 2013 and changed the university’s system for cultivating and supporting startups and technology transfer, Purdue has reached record numbers of patents, licenses and technology commercialization based on university research. Purdue has raises its profile as an entrepreneurial hub as students, faculty and staff have created more than 200 new companies with nearly $350 million in funding in those five years.

Purdue@Westgate has copied some of those same ideas, such as creating its own version of the Purdue Foundry, a commercialization accelerator founded in 2013. Its four-part program led by entrepreneurs-in-residence, is designed to help innovators turn ideas into businesses.

Purdue@Westgate also has received tech transfer support from Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, which operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among the nation’s leading research universities. Purdue@Westgate also offers Purdue Polytechnic CareerMaker™ to help businesses develop workforce talent,  monthly Spirited Entrepreneur networking events to provide a forum to share ideas and connect with other entrepreneurs and recently held the  State of Indiana Technology Showcase, modeled after PRF’s Technology Showcase, where dozens of pioneering innovations available for licensing, ranging from medical devices to analytical tools, were presented.

“Being recognized by the professionals of IARC is a great privilege and one that we need to share with our partners from the region that have rallied around the initiative," said Jason Salstrom, director of Purdue@WestGate. "We need to work hard to continue to build on the momentum, supporting life-improving innovation, and creating 21st century jobs for Hoosiers."

About Purdue@WestGate

Purdue@WestGate is an economic development accelerator formed by the partnership between WestGate Authority, Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (NSWC Crane), Purdue University and Purdue Research Foundation. The Indiana-based collaboration combines strengths to advance educational, research and development and technology commercialization across Indiana and elsewhere. Purdue@WestGate offers tools for startups, entrepreneurial experts, programs, educational opportunities and workforce development to help southern Indiana businesses grow and thrive. For more information about the resources available to businesses, visit Purdue@WestGate.

Writer: Tom Coyne, 765-588-1044,

Sources: Greg Deason,

Jason Salstrom , 812-483-0935,

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