Purdue, GE Partner to Commercialize Academic Technology Faster

Purdue University and GE have entered into a university-industry partnership they call a new approach to expediting the commercialization of academia-based technology. Their agreement brings the expertise of GE’s corporate technology commercialization group to bear on innovations Purdue is developing.

 “GE already benefits from a long-term collaborative affiliation with Purdue that dates back more than 100 years, and historically GE hires more Purdue students than from any other university in the world,” said Tony Denhart, a GE university relations manager.

Purdue innovations the partnership is considering for development include technologies for enhanced medical diagnostic imaging, advanced propulsion, solar applications, energy recovery, and new biological testing methods.

“These opportunities will be decided on a case-by-case basis depending on the needs and expected outcomes of the innovation,” Purdue Research Foundation president Dan Hasler told IMR. “The focus of the partnership will be on the actual commercialization of the innovation and less on its research or early development. The end goal is to move important discoveries to the public where they can help people live longer, happier and healthier lives.”

The GE/Purdue team plans to meet quarterly to discuss opportunities beginning early this year. Criteria for project selection could include such questions as:  What is the Technology Readiness Level of the innovation? How will it benefit society? What is the need/problem this innovation will solve for society?

 “An agreement like this can be a game-changer,” Hasler said. “This tests a new model of collaboration and lays the groundwork for advancing the way universities commercialize innovations. It’s more than providing novel technologies that have a promise of commercialization, because innovation leaders from GE and Purdue will meet on a periodic basis to discuss strategies and forward-thinking, value-added objectives derived from university-based research.”

The Purdue-GE partnership follows a similar 2011 collaboration between Purdue, Notre Dame and GE Healthcare that developed a CT scanning reconstruction technology called VEO™ (http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/research_park_foundation/2011/111130GE-ND-Purdue.html). Described by Purdue as an advanced form of spiral x-ray technology, VEO is being used by physicians “around the globe to diagnose patients with high-clarity images at previously unattainable low radiation dose levels.”

The success of this partnership helped in finalizing the new, more encompassing approach, Hasler said.

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