The Journal Gazette
Friday, November 08, 2019 12:00 pm

Innovation Center expecting closer ties to PFW


The Northeast Indiana Innovation Center expects closer cooperation with Purdue University Fort Wayne next year, the Allen County commissioners learned this morning.

The information came during a discussion that led to the commissioners' approval of an agreement for $100,000 as the 2020 annual appropriation for the center at the corner of Stellhorn and St. Joe roads.

Karl R. LaPan said the center has long maintained a relationship with the nearby university, but the tie had waned somewhat in recent years as the university struggled with internal and governance issues. 

Although PFW's Chancellor Ron Elsenbaumer already is on the center's board, he will become its vice chairman in January, LaPan said.

That opens the door for additional endeavors between PFW faculty and students and the center, which could aid in university curriculum development and availability of facilities for research and collaboration, LaPan said.

Elsenbaumer has a economic development background used while at his previous employer, the University of Texas, LaPan said.

Immediately before being hired by PFW, Elsenbaumer since 2016 was senior adviser for entrepreneurship and economic development. He has a background in chemistry and materials science.

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