Research Foundation News

August 23, 2021

Discovery Park District partners with Purdue SMART Consortium to advance Internet of Things technology and use cases

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Discovery Park District continues to build one of the most connected communities in the world, announcing on Monday (Aug. 23) a partnership with Purdue University SMART Consortium to advance Internet of Things (IoT) technology and study how this technology will be used.

According to a report by McKinsey & Co., the number of connected devices will grow exponentially over the coming decade. Although IoT is in its infancy, connected devices such as video-enabled doorbells and internet-connected thermostats in our homes, and other IoT applications, are poised to reshape the world much like the internet reshaped the world over the previous 25 years.

IoT represents a constellation of capabilities and technologies. It includes data acquisition from traditional and developing technologies, such as chemical, electrical and biologic sensors, and data transmission from the sensor to the processing engine such as Wi-Fi, LoRa, BLE, CBRS, or 5G. Another aspect of IoT is data processing, which includes machine learning and artificial intelligence, as well as where the data is processed: at the sensor, at the “edge,” which is in real time on the device, or in the cloud. Finally, IoT capabilities include data use to drive a decision or an action, for example using data visualization to provide insight on power grid management, trigger alerts for a patient’s cardiac rhythm, or automate actions such as traffic signals for better traffic flow.

The SMART Consortium is a multidisciplinary research center located in the $90 million Birck Nanotechnology Center at Purdue University. The SMART Consortium engages industry and technology partners in research to explore innovation across the IoT spectrum, from artificial intelligence-enabled manufacturing, materials and devices, hybrid integration, and high-performance electronics to low power communication, networking, and advanced machine-learning to obtain accurate data from low-cost sensors in harsh outdoor or noisy environments.

“The SMART Consortium represents a ‘foundry’ for IoT development,” said Ali Shakouri, the Mary Jo and Robert L. Kirk Director of Birck Nanotechnology Center and professor of electrical and computer engineering. “A foundry is a shared developmental manufacturing facility, and they were vital to the rapid growth of Silicon Valley. At the district, we envision a foundry dedicated to supporting the fast development of low-cost, high-volume IoT devices and use cases – generating faster product development pilot runs and lower cost per unit – making innovation much more accessible and affordable.”

In addition to the Foundry, the SMART Consortium also operates a LoRa-based network across the district. Together, the Foundry and LoRa network allow end-to-end IoT device and use case development and testing in a real-world environment.

The district is being built and curated to provide a unique digital experience for its residence, tenants and visitors. It is the front door for the outside world to engage and collaborate with a world-class academic institution focused on research and education. However, the district also serves as an at-scale living laboratory that allows scientific discovery to be applied and advanced outside of the controlled laboratory environment.

The district’s partnership with Purdue University’s SMART Consortium is a natural connection that helps bring innovation to the district and bridges research with partners through applied application. 

“The SMART Consortium is another piece of equipment we’ve curated for our digital playground and joins our other collaborators Tilson, SBA Communications, US Ignite, the Innovation Partners Institute, and the Indiana 5GZone in our growing innovation ecosystem,” said Troy Hege, vice president of innovation and technology at Purdue Research Foundation.

About Discovery Park District

The Discovery Park District is a 400-acre, $1 billion-plus purpose-driven community adjacent to campus that will include laboratories, advanced manufacturing facilities, offices, retail shops, restaurants, housing, green space, trails, and an airport with a 7,000-foot runway. The district, which is a designated opportunity zone, houses the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration, a facility designed to serve as a “front door” to companies that seek to collaborate with Purdue. Companies interested in locating in the Discovery Park District or Convergence Center should contact David Broecker, the foundation’s chief innovation and collaboration officer, at dabroecker@prf.org.

 

Sources:

Troy Hege: tdhege@prf.org

Ali Shakouri: shakouri@purdue.edu 

Media inquiries: Christy Denault, 317/417-6322

Purdue Research Foundation contact: Steve Martin, sgmartin@prf.org


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