Research Foundation News

November 14, 2019

Purdue receives international association’s top economic prosperity, innovation award

The $1 billion-plus Discovery Park District development will transform the west side of Purdue University’s campus.

Schweitzer Groundbreaking Officials from Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Purdue University and Purdue Research Foundation broke ground on SEL Purdue, a facility that will focus on electric power research and support 300-plus new jobs in Discovery Park District. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) has named Purdue University as a top award recipient of its 2019 Innovation & Economic Prosperity Place award.

The award follows a 2019 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report that Tippecanoe County rose to the highest growing income in the nation with the largest fourth-quarter wage gain in 2018. According to the report, the average weekly wage increased 15.1% during that time period.

“These results are built upon years of collaborations among many partners across the entire region and state,” said West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis. “And we a poised for even more growth in the coming years with multiple planned economic development initiatives.”

Examples include the recent expansions of international companies, including Rolls-RoyceSchweitzer Engineering Laboratories and global defense and security company Saab, which are all underway in the Discovery Park District, a  $1 billion-plus development to transform the west side of the Purdue campus.

Schweitzer and Saab are already actively creating spaces for more than 600 new high-tech jobs.

The Wall Street Journal also lists Purdue University as the third best in the U.S. and sixth best globally in a recent article highlighting startups generated from university-licensed technologies over the past 12 months.

“This award is a testament to the presence of Purdue University throughout the state of Indiana and beyond,” said Steve Abel, Purdue University associate provost for engagement. “This presence allows Purdue, Indiana’s land-grant university, to educate future leaders and improve the quality of life for Indiana residents and our global society.”

APLU place The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) this weekend named Purdue University a 2019 Innovation & Economic Prosperity Place award winner. Pictured, from left, are Steve Abel, Purdue University associate provost for engagement.; Greg Deason, senior vice president of entrepreneurship and place making for Purdue Research Foundation; Peter McPherson, president of APLU; and Jay Akridge, Purdue University provost. (APLU image) Download image

Other growth in and around the Purdue West Lafayette campus includes the:

 * $120 million State Street Redevelopment Project in partnership with the city of West Lafayette.

 * New housing, business and commercial growth, including the Aspire apartments, Provenance single-family residential living, the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration, and multiple high-tech startup companies.

“We are committed to continue with our work at Discovery Park District and other avenues contributing to a sense of ‘place’ for the university and surrounding areas,” said Greg Deason, senior vice president of entrepreneurship and place making for Purdue Research Foundation. “Dynamic places make it possible for innovators and entrepreneurs to take their ideas to impact.”

Purdue also launched its Center for Regional Development in 2005 to deepen its economic engagement across the state and region. The center leads a variety of initiatives to address the unique needs of each community it works in and spur development across the state. Partnering with Ball State University, the center’s Hometown Collaboration Initiative works to grow local capacity in leadership and economic placemaking.

Purdue also has invested in two Purdue Polytechnic High School locations in Indianapolis with a goal to fully prepare high school students who otherwise might not have the opportunity for high-tech and STEM-related careers.

“Economic engagement and development cuts to the heart of public universities’ mission to advance the public good,” said Peter McPherson, APLU president. “We applaud the winners of this year’s APLU Innovation & Economic Prosperity University Awards. They stand out as excellent examples of how public universities are addressing their communities’ needs and advancing regional economic development.”

About the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. With a membership of 242 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations, APLU's agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research and expanding engagement. Annually, member campuses enroll 4.9 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $44.9 billion in university-based research.

About Purdue University

Purdue University, a top public research institution and Indiana’s land-grant university, offers higher education at its highest proven value. Committed to affordability, the university has frozen tuition and most fees at the 2012-13 levels. Committed to student success, Purdue is changing the student experience with greater focus on faculty-student interaction and creative use of technology. Committed to pursuing scientific discoveries and engineering solutions, Purdue has streamlined pathways for faculty and student innovators who have a vision for moving the world forward.

Media contacts:

Chris Adam, 765-588-3341, 

Jeff Lieberson, 202-478-6073 (office), 202-236-2372 (cell),


Greg Deason, 765-588-5254,

Steve Abel,

Research Foundation News

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-20 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at