WEST LAFAYETTE – Purdue University is among 11 universities participating in the Great Lakes Innovation Corps Hub established by the National Science Foundation. The $15 million hub was designed to connect people at a large scale with the goal of boosting the innovation ecosystem in the Midwest.

The university says the hub is part of the evolution of the NSF’s I-Corps program, which trains scientists and engineers to commercialize their ideas. Purdue has participated in the program since 2015.

“A critical part of research at Purdue is the translation of discoveries and advances that have the potential for significant impact on society,” said Theresa Mayer, executive vice president for research and partnerships at Purdue University and Purdue’s principal investigator on the I-Corps Hub. “Purdue is thrilled to continue to be part of the NSF I-Corps program and to join with universities throughout the Great Lakes region in support of our collective mission to accelerate the time to commercialization.”

The hub is being led by the University of Michigan. Alec Gallimore, dean of engineering at UM, says the goal of the hub is to leverage the intellectual depth among the partner institutions to create a lasting impact on the region.

“We’ll do this by creating new businesses, by keeping our existing companies globally competitive and on the leading edge of technology and by developing talent that not only has technical and cultural expertise, but also an entrepreneurial mindset,” Gallimore said in a news release.

The other institutions involved in the hub include the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and the University of Minnesota, as well as as affiliates the University of Chicago, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Iowa State University, Michigan Technological University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, the University of Toledo and the University of Akron.