Convergence drawing

The Convergence Center will become home to the Office of Industry Partnerships later this year.

SPRING 2020 |

Dave McKinnis, an interim associate vice president, answers questions about the newly created Office of Industry Partnerships, which he is currently overseeing.

In fall 2019, the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships Office and Purdue Research Foundation announced the creation of the Office of Industry Partnerships (OIP). Dave McKinnis, interim associate vice president who is currently heading up the OIP, answered the following questions about this new office.

What is the Office of Industry Partnerships?
The Office of Industry Partnerships (OIP) is Purdue’s new single portal to campus for industry partners.

As part of both Purdue University and the Purdue Research Foundation, the OIP represents the integration of the Office of Corporate and Global Partnerships, formerly under the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships, and the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations, a unit within the Purdue Research Foundation’s University Development Office.

Where is the office located?
The OIP is located in Dauch and will move to Purdue’s Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration later this year.

What does the office do?
The OIP works to understand the needs of business and align them with resources across campus. We develop relationships with companies, Purdue faculty and staff, and PRF offices to develop mutually-beneficial partnerships. Specifically, we work in these areas:

  • Talent/recruiting: We help our students find right-fit internships, co-ops, and jobs with our corporate partners by connecting industry with opportunities to recruit on campus, engage student organizations, mentor capstone projects, and many others.
  • Research and joint programs: We help to develop efforts that range from strategic research programs to individual opportunities across the University, including in Discovery Park and in Purdue’s colleges, schools, and centers.
  • Strategic giving: We develop philanthropic strategies that align with a company’s goals, ensuring that gifts make the impact that corporate donors want, whether through naming rights, sponsorships, scholarships and fellowships, corporate matching gifts, or donations of equipment.
  • Commercialization, intellectual property and licensing: We work closely with our faculty, the Office of Technology Commercialization and SPS to develop partnerships with industry that lead to the development of high-value IP. We also work with OTC to help our corporate partners access existing IP that could advance their business.
  • Executive and online education: We help to act as the ear to a company, learning about any skills gaps or upskilling needs they may have, and connecting them with the appropriate online education groups on campus to address their needs.
  • Embedded and co-located industry: We provide opportunities for deep university-industry partnerships by making physical space available on campus for industrial researchers and campus recruiters.

Who oversees your office?
The office is co-directed by our executive vice president for research and partnerships and the executive senior associate vice president for advancement.

Who manages the partnerships?
Each corporate partner is provided with an OIP account manager, who works closely with faculty, department heads, deans, the president, the executive vice president for research and partnerships, the vice president for advancement, and PRF’s economic development team.

How does OIP work with Sponsored Program Services (SPS) and the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC)?
OIP facilitates many corporate engagements that involve contracts, nondisclosure agreements, consulting agreements, and student engagement agreements. Our staff works closely with SPS and OLC to facilitate these agreements.

Could you give us an example of a partnership that the OIP manages?
Purdue recently signed a five-year partnership agreement with the animal health company, Elanco. The partnership was built on many long term connections between Elanco executives and PRF and leadership in the Colleges of Agriculture and Science. The agreement engages Elanco with Purdue’s life sciences researchers in animal science, structural biology, protein evolution and engineering, microbiome discovery and clinical veterinary medicine. The scope of the partnership includes:

  • Joint research
  • Testing (i.e.: Bindley, ADDL, Histology Research Lab)
  • Co-locating to campus
  • Continuing education
  • Talent acquisition
  • Facility use/training