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Purdue Launches Vincennes Commercialization Initiative
Indiana Ag Connection - 06/04/2020

Purdue University's Davidson School of Chemical Engineering and the Purdue Research Foundation are partnering with The Pantheon Business and Innovation Theatre, investing Purdue talent and resources in a new entrepreneurial and commercialization initiative in the heart of Knox County in southwest Indiana.

The innovative agreement will place graduate alumni from chemical engineering with undergraduate interns in the Pantheon to commercialize Purdue technology with established corporations or newly formed startups.

"The Pantheon is thrilled that Purdue is investing its expertise, resources, and confidence into our business and entrepreneurial community," said Nichole Like, executive director of the Pantheon. "This partnership connects Knox County with a network of talented professionals in the commercialization space. "

This new commercialization initiative in Knox County is the latest development by the Purdue Research Foundation to support entrepreneurship in the southern and southwestern parts of Indiana. Professionals from Purdue Foundry, WestGate, help Purdue and regional innovators create startups. The Purdue Foundry, WestGate, manages the WestGate Academy at the WestGate@Crane Technology Park.

"The leadership in Vincennes has been extraordinary and is making Knox County an attractive place to grow a business," said Jason Salstrom, director of Purdue@WestGate. "This is an incredible opportunity for our alumni to work with and mentor undergraduate interns to help in moving Purdue technology to the marketplace."

In 2020, the IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue third nationally in startup creation and in the top 20 for patents.

"The Davidson School of Chemical Engineering is looking forward to this unique collaboration with the Pantheon," said Sangtae Kim, the Jay and Cynthia Ihlenfeld Head of Chemical Engineering. "We are happy to honor the entrepreneurial spirit of our alumni, most notably the late Robert T. Henson with the Robert T. Henson Scholar program that places our students in summer internships and co-op experiences at the Pantheon. This is at the forefront of the exciting intersection of ag-tech innovation with the land-grant university mission."

The partnership between Pantheon, Purdue and the Purdue Research Foundation has already received support from local and state leaders.

"The partnership between the Pantheon and Purdue plugs Vincennes into an innovation and entrepreneurial network that is opening up economic opportunities for our rural city," said Brian Grove, a Vincennes city councilman.

Bob Lechner, a Knox County councilman, said, "The Pantheon and Purdue collaboration is a confident step toward Knox County developing a more diverse and vibrant 21st century economy."

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