Research Foundation News

September 9, 2021

Purdue Innovation Partners Institute launches digital engagement initiative for Discovery Park District

Project to develop policies and governance framework to foster trust for the safe and secure adoption of digital technologies, solutions and data

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue Research Foundation's Innovation Partners Institute (IPI) announced Thursday (Sept. 9) a data governance initiative designed to engage community members and instill trust in the technology built into the Discovery Park District (DPD) community.

"Community buy-in and trust in the safe, secure, ethical and transparent adoption of technology are critical to the advancement of new products, services and digital innovation," said David Broecker, chief innovation and collaboration officer at the Purdue Research Foundation. "This project will help us create thoughtful governance of our digital environment to build trust in the technology we are putting in place, which is critical to the effective adoption and productive use of that technology and future use cases and projects."

According to a recent US Ignite report, many smart cities fail when the adoption of smart city applications conflicts with the privacy and security of residents. US Ignite suggests a framework that focuses on engagement, equity, governance, cybersecurity and privacy. DPD will use these ideas to understand how other communities and corporations deal with these components and will develop its own methodology for how to govern its own digital environment. Starting with robust stakeholder engagement to understand the interests and concerns from across the community, this initiative will lead to the creation of a policy framework and governance process for the DPD connected community.

"The governance process will provide leadership and oversight for the deployment of smart technology across the district aimed at improving the quality of life for the residents, tenants and visitors to the district, including the collection and use of data," Broecker said. "It will ensure that research that takes place in the district will respect the privacy and rights of those who live, work and play there."

DPD will engage several members of its recently announced Technology Leadership Advisory Board in discussions around this important initiative. The investment these companies and others are making at DPD will give rise to community use cases that will drive new products and services, including the safe and secure acquisition of data.

"Working with these companies provides DPD with an important opportunity to get their perspective while also shaping their policies to ensure secure, ethical, transparent data use that will support technology adoption and scalability beyond DPD," said Troy Hege, Purdue Research Foundation vice president of innovation and technology and program manager of the Innovation Partners Institute.

IPI will publish its lessons learned from the real-life implementation and management of the data governance model to help other smart communities build their governance structures.

Jay and Robyn Stead of Auckland, New Zealand, and the Stead Family Foundation have underwritten the data governance initiative. Jay Stead is a successful business leader and innovator and graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management degree from the Krannert School of Management in 1986.

Sources: Troy Hege, tdhege@prf.org

David Broecker, dabroecker@prf.org

Media inquiries: Christy Denault, csdenault@yahoo.com, 317/417-6322

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

About Innovation Partners Institute

Innovation Partners Institute (IPI) is an innovation community designed to turn concepts into early-stage solutions to solve big problems. The institute serves as a collaborative "place in the middle" bringing together ideas and talent, hand-picked external experts, financial and corporate resources, and critical capabilities to address a specific challenge. IPI is centered at the Discovery Park District adjacent to Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, in a 400-acre connected community powered by a 5G+ technology infrastructure of fiber, an edge data center, a multi-use spectrum including CBRS, and multiple Internet of Things and artificial intelligence test beds. Visit us at partnersforinnovation.org.

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.


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