Indiana University alumni previewed the new $10 million Innovation Center before its official dedication Monday. The center is an incubator for faculty and student research that may lead to new commercial ventures.
IU Vice President for Engagement, Bill Stephan, thinks the center will become a model for innovation across the country.
“There’s been an effort, again lead by the faculty, who recognized the opportunity to really begin to develop some space where we could nurture technologies and other opportunities that had some market potential,” Stephan said.
IU President Michael McRobbie dedicated the 40,000 square foot center this week as part of his Innovate Indiana initiative. That program aims to combine research with entrepreneurship to expand Indiana’s economy.
The President and CEO of the IU Research and Technology Corporation, Tony Armstrong, thinks the Innovation Center will allow the university to make the most of its ideas.
“The idea of the RTC these days, as I mentioned, is a conduit or a bridge in a way that we can actually on behalf of faculty not only take the technologies that they’re developing and working on and get those licensed, but also try to work with companies and find opportunities they need and bring those back to faculty,” he said.
“So I think in a way we’re trying to broaden the reach on behalf of the university and really find opportunities for companies and alums and different folks that have needs within the university that can hopefully help solve problems for them.”
The center will house internet and life sciences start-up companies in hopes of spurring economic development and attracting top minds to the area.
“Actually, we’re able to, at this point, especially on the wet lab side, to custom build the labs and actually help them be a part of the design of the building and the space that they’re taking, so we’re in discussions like that as well,” Armstrong said.