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For Immediate Release
June 06, 2017

Purdue University and Indiana University to Continue Partnership with Office of Engagement on Fort Wayne Campus

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—University officials announced today that a 12-year partnership between Purdue University, Indiana University, and IPFW will continue following the campus realignment effective July 1, 2018. The Office of Engagement will continue operating on the Fort Wayne campus, as it is an integral component in engaging higher education to serve the needs of the 15-county northeast Indiana regional community.

“The office represents an important collaboration between northeast Indiana businesses, Purdue, IU, and the Fort Wayne campus,” said Carl Drummond, vice chancellor for academic affairs and enrollment management at IPFW. “The mission has been to leverage university resources in order to facilitate technology transfer, innovative business development, and economic growth in the region. We look forward to continuing that partnership in the years to come.”

The office officially launched in January 2006 as a partnership between IPFW, IU, Purdue, and the northeast Indiana business community with the objectives of promoting positive outcomes in regional economic development, workforce development, community development, and strategic planning initiatives, including:

  • providing a key contact for access to IPFW, Purdue, and IU programs for business, government and community partnerships;
  • facilitating community access to higher-education resources;
  • providing representation for regional business in the development and enhancement of university programs; and
  • supporting strategic initiatives in the northeast Indiana region by providing university support and access to resources where needed.

“Purdue University is pleased to continue its collaboration with Indiana University and IPFW throughout our northeast Indiana Office of Engagement,” said Steve Abel, associate provost for engagement at Purdue University. “This partnership has enhanced community and economic development and quality of life for the citizens of northeast Indiana through the combined effort of Indiana and Purdue faculty and staff.”

Since its creation in 2006, the office has developed a portfolio of more than 700 businesses around the region, with which 45% have developed some type of meaningful engagement with one or more of the university partners. These engagements take the form of student hires, training programs, research activities, academic projects, and more. Community partner organizations whose work is supported by the Office of Engagement include the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, WorkOne Northeast, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, Greater Fort Wayne Inc., Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center, and other regional county economic development organizations and local chambers of commerce.

“For more than 10 years, Indiana University has proudly partnered with Purdue University and the IPFW campus to support the operations of the Office of Engagement and its director (Sean Ryan) to ensure that northeast Indiana has direct access to the broader resources of our state’s two public research universities—all of which is designed to further strengthen the economic vitality of the region,” said Bill Stephan, vice president for engagement at Indiana University.

Over the life of the partnership, key programs and outreach for the regional community include:

  • IU Business Outlook Luncheon
  • Opportunity for Indiana Business Plan Competition
  • Purdue Technical Assistance Program
  • Purdue IN-MaC projects with Purdue and IPFW Faculty
  • IPFW Student Academic Projects sponsored by industry
  • Congressman Stutzman and Congressman Banks Job Fairs (annually since 2011)
  • Northeast Indiana Defense Industry Association programs
  • Technical assistance and training through the Argast Family Imaging and Analysis Lab at IPFW
  • NSWC Crane—holds Partnership Intermediary Agreement and Educational Partnership Agreement

Office of Engagement Mission:
To match IPFW, Purdue, and Indiana University expertise and intellectual property to the regional needs of northeast Indiana, enhance economic and workforce development, and improve the quality of life for its citizens. The office serves as a key outreach liaison for business, industry, government, and community partnerships in the region.

For more information regarding community engagement efforts, visit IPFW's Campus to Community Connections, Engage Purdue, and Innovate Indiana.