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Purdue ends $100M deal with research foundation

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Purdue University has ended its dealings with a foundation that pledged a $100 million donation five years ago to help the school find commercial uses for its research.

Purdue officials announced that the university's research foundation was taking over the nonprofit group that the school created with the Alfred E. Mann Foundation for Biomedical Engineering.

The foundation has given $15.5 million to the Alfred Mann Institute for Biomedical Development at Purdue, also known as AMIPurdue, but Purdue and foundation leaders aren't explaining why they're parting ways, the Journal & Courier of Lafayette reported Friday.

"We are not down about it. We got $15 million in donations (from Mann), we own all the patents and have our own nonprofit," said John Hertig, executive director of AMIPurdue. "We are very excited. These changes will make it easier for us to work within the Purdue environment."

Purdue accepted the California-based foundation's offer in 2007 after other universities — including University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University — turned down similar proposals amid questions over the control of intellectual property rights to university inventions.

Among those issues was the Mann Foundation's insistence on deciding which of the schools' inventions were most ripe for commercialization, something the universities feared would conflict with their other research agreements.

Hertig said the foundation's donations to Purdue helped with development of 11 technologies in electrical, mechanical and biomedical engineering, pharmacy and other areas. Purdue said four startup companies have taken those technologies into the commercial marketplace.

Details of the 2007 agreement aren't public because the contract was between two private groups — the Purdue Research Foundation and Mann Foundation.

David Hankin, the foundation's president, said in a statement that Purdue had been an exceptional partner.

"It's been five years, and there have been many changes in the world as well as in our foundation's focus," Hankin said.

Josh Powers, a professor of higher education leadership at Indiana State University, said frictions can arise in such agreements as university researchers might be concerned that a funding partner is influencing research, while a foundation or corporation may worry about seeing a return on its financial investment.

"There is generally this cultural tension of this incentive structure between privates and the colleges," Powers said.

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  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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