Purdue continues to explore new ways to leverage this funding for targeted industrial partnerships, in exchange for contributions by the industrial partner, such as matching funds, in-kind product development or business advisement services. Further, also being explored is a fellowship award associated with one or more of the students involved in performing the proof-of-concept work that bears the name of the industrial partner. This fall, the TIF will pilot this next generation of proof-of-concept funding in the area of agriculture with the Agricultural Alumni Seed Improvement Association, Inc., a non-profit organization located in Romney, Indiana that develops and releases high performance popcorn hybrids, many of which contain Purdue genetics.
B. Emerging Innovations Fund
The Purdue Emerging Innovations Fund (EIF) is an evergreen fund that is seeded annually by the Trask Venture Fund. New ventures eligible for the seed funding through the EIF are either developing a Purdue technology or have a principal place of business in the Purdue Technology Centers located throughout the State of Indiana. The EIF funds are awarded to the new venture to support technology translation and development as well as corporate development.
Synergistic to education, the EIF serves as an experiential learning opportunity for Purdue graduate and undergraduate students. Purdue students receive 3-course credit hours through the Krannert School of Management to undertake diligence reviews of the EIF applicants, perform an in-depth business analysis and present findings to the EIF Economic Advisory Board which includes a recommendation for funding, or not. Students from any discipline meeting minimum requirements may apply and if selected, throughout the semester, inure the benefit of interactions with the entrepreneurs and theEconomic Advisory Board, who are each active investors, financial advisors, bankers or venture capitalist.
Funding decisions are made in consultation with the Economic Advisory Board, and transacted as convertible debt. Amounts invested may be up to $150,000 and are performance-based.
After three years in earnest of enabling investments, the Emerging Innovations Fund has invested into six new ventures, four of whom have received more than $2 million in follow-on dilutive or non-dilutive funding and account for 13 new jobs in the State of Indiana. Purdue will track these value-inflections for the next several years to establish a multiplier on its overall investments. At that time will the data be sufficient to draw material conclusions.
II. Other Purdue University Innovative Practices that Support Technology Transfer and Development
In the last several months, the Office of Technology Commercialization has unveiled new procedures and policy implementations to accelerate the quantity of technologies transferring out of the university, whether owned by Purdue University or not. Purdue students who create an invention in the performance of coursework, such as a design project for an engineering course, own those inventions. Purdue inventors who have contributed Purdue-owned intellectual property may elect an 'as is' license contract to establish a new venture based on the invention to which she or he contributed. Purdue-owned intellectual property will be reviewed and assessed by the Purdue Research Foundation on a 6-month timeline, ending in a go/no go decision.