Purdue News

February 22, 2006

India delegation will tour Discovery Park, Purdue Research Park

Pankaj Sharma
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A delegation from India focusing on international trade and possible partnerships with Purdue University and the state of Indiana will tour Discovery Park and the Purdue Research Park during a Feb. 28 campus visit.

Fifteen members of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce in Mumbai, India, will spend nearly two weeks in the United States, meeting with university, government and economic development officials in Indiana, Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

"The delegation is coming to the United States to identify synergies that may be possible between their companies and existing businesses in greater Lafayette and in Indiana," said Pankaj Sharma, assistant director of Discovery Park. "The ultimate outcome is to provide opportunities where India and Indiana business could exchange not just information but also product and knowledge."

The delegation will get a picture of U.S. research, industry and manufacturing in areas such as electronics, telecommunications, information technology, nanotechnology and financial services. The members of the delegation also will gather information on the health care and medical and hospital equipment industries, as well as consumer and food products, biotechnology, tourism, education and the nation's road, port and airport infrastructure.

The Indo-American chamber, which has 2,300 corporate members, including many multinational companies, promotes trade and acts as a catalyst for economic growth in both India and the United States.

Purdue President Martin C. Jischke is scheduled to welcome the delegation at 9:30 a.m. in Room 121 at the Burton Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in Discovery Park.

A trade presentation by the delegation and a roundtable discussion with several Purdue deans are next, followed by presentations on Discovery Park and the university's international programs, and a tour of the buildings and research under way at Discovery Park.

From there, the delegation will head to the Purdue Research Park for a tour of manufacturing and research facilities there.

"This trade mission provides Indiana with an opportunity to forge strategic partnerships that could help our state successfully compete in a global economy," said Joseph B. Hornett, senior vice president, treasurer and chief operating officer for the Purdue Research Foundation, which owns and operates the Purdue Research Park and manages the Office of Technology Commercialization.

"The relationships Purdue forms today with other countries may lead to high-quality, high-wage jobs in Indiana’s future," he said.

Joining Purdue in sponsoring the delegation visit are the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette, Lafayette-West Lafayette Economic Development Corp., Lafayette-West Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, Lafayette-West Lafayette Convention and Visitors Bureau, Greater Lafayette Community Development Corp., and Tippecanoe County government officials.

Indianapolis law firm Bose McKinney and Evans also is a co-sponsor for the Purdue visit. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. is coordinating the delegation's efforts at the state level.

"This mission is not just about Purdue, Discovery Park and the Purdue Research Park but also the entire Lafayette-West Lafayette area," Cinda Kelley, acting director of the Lafayette-West Lafayette Economic Development Corp., said. "Economic development with the international business community is key to what we're doing for this part of the state, and it can help all of Indiana."

Indiana companies exported more than $90 million worth of goods to India during 2004, up 127 percent since 2001, the Global Business Information Network at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University reports. That made India the 22nd-largest export market for the Hoosier state, far behind Canada, Mexico and China.

In January, a Purdue contingent led by Provost Sally Mason spent a week in India. While there, Purdue officials and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai signed a five-year agreement. The agreement stipulates that Purdue will work to foster research collaborations in life sciences fields between Indian scientists and the university's academic and research units such as the Bindley Bioscience Center at Discovery Park.

In December 2005, Purdue signed another agreement as a part of the Indo-U.S. Inter University Collaborative Initiative in Higher Education and Research that included 19 other universities — from Harvard, Yale and the University of Texas at Austin in the United States to the Indian Space Research Organization, Department of Science and Technology, India, and Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University in India. This agreement also includes Microsoft India.

"The expertise available at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research will complement the strengths at our university," Charles O. Rutledge, vice president for research at Purdue, said in announcing the collaborative agreement on Jan. 13 in Mumbai. "The agreement will include exchange of professors and students and cultural give-and-take."

Jischke visited India in November 2004 to meet with government and university officials to discuss what classes Purdue could offer in disciplines such engineering, pharmacy and management to better prepare potential employees for the global marketplace.

That visit resulted in a similar exchange agreement between Purdue and the Indian Institute of Technology.

India was the second-fastest growing major economy in the world, with a gross domestic product growth rate of 8.1 percent for the first fiscal quarter of 2005–06. And some economists predict that India could surpass Japan and China as Asia's fastest growing economy by 2010. Yet because of India's huge population, its per capita annual income is just $3,100.

Of the 4,831 international students enrolled at Purdue in the current academic year, there are 1,021 students from India, followed by China (782), South Korea (680), Taiwan (222), and Indonesia (221).

The top majors chosen by both undergraduate and graduate-level international students attending Purdue for 2005-06 are engineering, management and science. Purdue also has more than 85 faculty of Indian origin mostly in engineering, management and science.

Purdue ranks second among all public institutions, behind the University of Illinois, in international enrollment, and ranks third in the nation among all institutions, according to the Institute of International Education. The University of Southern California led the nation, with more than 6,800 international students, followed by the University of Illinois with 4,904 students this year.

Writers: Phillip Fiorini, (765) 496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu

Jeannine Phipps, (765) 494-0748, jsphipps@prf.org

Sources: Pankaj Sharma, (765) 496-7452, sharma@purdue.edu

Joseph Hornett, (765) 494-8645, jbhornett@purdue.edu

Cinda Kelley, (765) 742-0095, cinda@lwledc.org

Charles Rutledge, (765) 494-6209, chipr@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


Note to Journalists: Reporters and photographers needing assistance with news coverage for the visit by the India delegation should contact the Purdue News Service at (765) 494-2096 or Phillip Fiorini at (765) 496-3133. Purdue President Martin C. Jischke will greet the delegation at 9:30 a.m. at Burton Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, 1201 State St. A trade presentation by the delegation runs from 10-11:30 a.m. From 1:15-2 p.m., presentations on Discovery Park and Purdue's international programs are set, followed by a Discovery Park tour from 2:15-3 p.m. Presentations and a tour at the Purdue Research Park's Purdue Technology Center, 300 Kent Ave., will be from 3:45-4:45 p.m.


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