Research Foundation News

February 9, 2021

5G testing center for rapid connectivity to launch at Purdue’s Discovery Park District

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — An innovative 5G “living lab” center called NineTwelve Convergence features state-of-the-art 5G networking and wireless connectivity where companies can partner with Purdue University, SBA Communications, NineTwelve and others will open in June in Purdue’s Discovery Park District, officials announced Tuesday (Feb. 9).

Purdue University’s world-class researchers and others are collaborating to realize the full potential promised by 5G and transforming the digital economy around the world. We all realize that 5G will completely revamp the ecosystem of innovation, and we embrace these opportunities,” said Mung Chiang, Purdue’s John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering. “What’s uniquely powerful about this 5G center is that it is a 5G ‘living lab’ where we can define the use case and innovate the deployment. We have the spectrum and the building access, along with several very innovative technologies. This will be an impactful partnership.” 

This 5G center will be the first facility in the U.S. providing full-suite development and testing capabilities, revolutionizing the speed at which products get to market while at the same time controlling risk and lowering development costs.

chiang-m19 Mung Chiang

“As a state, we understand and embrace the enabling disruption that 5G is making a reality,” said Dave Roberts, chief innovation officer for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “The advent and commercialization of trends in connected and autonomous mobility – as well as IoT-laden smart cities – will transform communities, and we could not be happier that this evolution is happening right here in Indiana, making our state even more attractive to companies here and around the world.”

The 5G center will focus on emerging technologies in essential fields such as advanced manufacturing, hypersonics and microelectronics.

“5G technology holds the promise of transforming business in ways that are only beginning to be imagined. It is so much more than your cellphone,” said Dan Hasler, CMO for Nine Twelve. ”Corporate CEOs need a place where their current business processes can be appropriately challenged and rapidly advanced through 5G technology. This ‘living lab’ will be housed in Convergence in Discovery Park District, next door to some of the finest minds in the country.”

Software development and IT operations, called DevOps, will be a critical part of moving these new technologies to the market rapidly and at the quality levels required for things like critical infrastructure.

“Discovery Park District's connected community is the perfect location for the 5G living lab at Convergence," said David Broecker, chief innovation and collaboration officer for Purdue Research Foundation. “In combination with the district's neutral host capabilities and private CBRS wireless networks, the 5G lab is another component to creating the nation’s first, fully integrated test bed at scale for innovators, companies and key stakeholders.”

Located at the “front door” to a top research university, NineTwelve Convergence provides an environment for collaboration and includes a full-suite of solutions to solve the challenges of DevOps, including building, integrating, testing, configuring and releasing products to market.

“Convergence is about converging! A place that brings technologies, industry and academic partners in a creative environment and enables prototyping and experimentation resulting in fast-to-market, high-value products and services,” said Sean Hendrix, chief technology officer of NineTwelve and managing director of its sister facility, the Indiana 5G Zone. “By becoming a member of NineTwelve Convergence and conducting an opportunity assessment, companies can focus on their products and how they integrate into the system to deliver the value promised.”

Discovery Park District is being built to support an advanced connected community through partnerships with Tilson, a national network deployment services firm, and SBA Communications, an independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure.

“The 5G testing center is an important addition for Discovery Park District’s strategic goal of providing cutting-edge connectivity services for all those living, working and learning in the district,” said Piyush Raj, managing director of connected venues at SBA Communications. “These important collaborations lay a strong foundation that can make the district a national leader in 5G and all that is needed for the dynamics involved in high-speed bandwidth.”

For more information, contact

About NineTwelve Convergence 

NineTwelve teams industry, government and academia to meet critical technology needs. Its unique collaboration platform accelerates the design and implementation of emergent solutions by bringing together the key elements of innovation: collaboration, prototyping and experimentation. By creating these cross-sector collaborative networks that design and deliver groundbreaking solutions, NineTwelve focuses on emergent technologies such as 5G, advanced manufacturing, and trusted microelectronics. The Indiana 5G Zone, Emerging Manufacturing Collaboration Center, one of many NineTwelve collaborators, advances the transformation of physical industries by powering smart cities, intelligent logistics and advanced manufacturing.

About Purdue Research Foundation

Purdue Research Foundation supports Purdue University’s land-grant mission by helping the university improve the world through its technologies and graduates. Established in 1930, PRF is a private, nonprofit foundation. The foundation helps patent and commercialize Purdue technologies; builds places to encourage innovation, invention, investment, commercialization and entrepreneurship; and makes equity available to students to finance their Purdue education. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at For more information about involvement and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at

About SBA Communications 

SBA Communications Corp. (SBA) is an independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure, which includes towers, buildings, rooftops, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and small cells. Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, SBA has operations in 14 markets across the Americas and South Africa. Listed on NASDAQ under the symbol: SBAC, our organization is also part of the S&P 500 and is one of the top 20 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) based on market capitalization. For more information, our website.

Media contacts: Kasia Chaberski, NineTwelve, 503-388-1963,

Cynthia Sequin, Purdue Research Foundation,

Sources: Mung Chiang,

Dan Hasler,

Dave Roberts,

David Broecker,

Sean Hendrix,

Piyush Raj,

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