March 16, 2007

Purdue President Martin C. Jischke made these comments during the announcement of the $100 million Mann Foundation endowment at Purdue University.

$100 million Mann Foundation endowment will propel Purdue innovation into the future

Good morning. Welcome to Purdue University.

We are gathered here today for one of the most exciting and important announcements in the long history of our university.

I believe this is a transforming moment for Purdue. It is a transforming moment for our faculty and students. It is a transforming moment for our state of Indiana.

What we are announcing at Purdue this morning is a new model for higher education research commercialization.

It will have wide impact throughout the United States in the 21st century. It will affect the future of our research, the economy of our state, and the health and lives of people throughout the world.

Purdue is Indiana's land-grant university. We have missions for learning, discovery and engagement that are deeply rooted in the institution. They are at work in every county and every corner of our state. Purdue learning, discovery and engagement are at work impacting our nation and the world.

The Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering is among our signature areas at Purdue. We have a long history of collaborating with the private sector in biomedical engineering. We have a long history of collaborating with our partners at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Examples of biomedical engineering technologies that have been developed at Purdue include:

• New devices that monitor the vital signs of premature babies.

• Synthetic and natural "biomaterials" used in surgery to repair and regenerate diseased or damaged tissues, such as bladders, blood vessels, ligaments, skin and eyes.

• Longer-lasting artificial joints and novel minimally invasive orthopedic devices.

• Computer models that simulate the mechanical properties and function of hard and soft tissues to understand the early onset of maladies such as stress fractures.

For more than five years, we have been engaged in strategic plans for Purdue based on our missions for learning, discovery and engagement.

Among the most important focuses of our plans are research and the commercialization of our ideas and discoveries into companies and products that impact the economy of our state, that impact the lives of people.

We are now nearing the end of our plans. They have been enormously successful. We said we would grow the research of this university. We doubled it.

We said we would create new facilities that would break the barriers of modern technology.

We said we would remold this university into a research and learning community focused on interdisciplinary discovery that helps shape today and tomorrow.

We said we would instill a spirit of entrepreneurship throughout our campus, our faculty and students, to move Purdue discovery into a world in need of promise and possibilities.

We have done all this and more.

We are meeting this morning in our new $25 million Biomedical Engineering Building, which is a partnership with our state.

This is the gateway to our new $350 million Discovery Park where more than 1,000 faculty and many students are at work in large-scale interdisciplinary learning and research.

These are incredible accomplishments in less than six years.

Everything we have accomplished through our strategic plans has led us to this important moment.

Today we are announcing a new partnership between Purdue and one of the major foundations in the United States. It is a foundation started by one of the great entrepreneurs in the history of America, a man whose contributions in biomedical engineering have assisted people throughout the world.

Alfred E. Mann and the Alfred Mann Foundation have improved life for people everywhere.

Today, 21st century engineering, science, and technology offer opportunities for even greater impact than ever before.

This morning, I am very pleased and proud to announce that the Mann Foundation for Biomedical Engineering will fund an Alfred Mann Institute at Purdue University with an incredible endowment of $100 million!

This is the largest single endowment ever in the history of Purdue.

This university-based institute will enable the commercialization of innovative biomedical technologies that improve human health and life.

Through the Purdue Alfred Mann Institute for Biomedical Development, we are creating a new model of university technology transfer for the 21st century.

This institute will speed our best discoveries out of the laboratories and into the marketplace, where they can improve lives and bolster our economy.

Purdue Research Park already provides one effective strategy for technology transfer.

We now are enhancing our capabilities to meet the growing need to translate our faculty discoveries into useful products.

Our agreement states that preferential consideration will be given to Indiana companies wanting to license and develop the technologies.

The Mann Institute at Purdue University will have profound impact on our state and its opportunities in the life sciences.

This university-private sector partnership will give a tremendous boost to economic development in Indiana and elsewhere, and on the well-being of people everywhere.

The facility will be housed in Purdue's Discovery Park, where it will benefit from all of the incredible discovery that is growing there.

Purdue is a university on the move.

Given the history and success of technology commercialization at Purdue, given our commitment to entrepreneurship and the substantial investments already being made by this university, this Mann Institute creates something absolutely unique.

The Mann Institute takes us to that next level where we have been focusing – preeminence.

Speaking for everyone at Purdue, our Board, our students, faculty and staff, our alumni, I want to extend our deepest thanks to Al and his family and the Alfred Mann Foundation.

Thank you also to Steve Dahms and everyone on the Alfred Mann Foundation board who has worked so hard to make this day possible.

Thank you from the people of Indiana who will benefit so greatly from what we are creating here today.

One hundred thirty-eight years ago, a prominent entrepreneur wanted to impact people, our state and our nation through higher education.

His name was John Purdue. His investment in a land grant university helped establish a new model for its time. It is a model that has carried us through today.

We now live in a new century. And now — another great entrepreneur is investing in higher education. He is investing in the future of Purdue, our students, faculty and state. He is investing in the health and lives of people throughout this nation and world. He is creating a new model for the 21st century. The Alfred Mann Institute for Biomedical Development in Purdue's Discovery Park is the gateway to tomorrow.


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