Purdue Calumet celebrating the opening of their new Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center, located just a few blocks off campus, with an enthusiastic ribbon cutting ceremony and tours of the facility on Thursday.
Local business and community leaders as well as students, teachers and administrators got their first look at the innovative, 18,000 square foot center that offers two components of development. One component will offer cutting edge training for manufacturing companies of all sizes through its emphasis on prototype and product development.
“Let’s say a local company has acquired a new, technologically advanced piece of equipment,” said Wes Lukoshus, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Advancement. “We want to be able to give these businesses the space to use these new technologies and train their workers or students who will benefit from real hands-on learning. We can turn this into jobs and opportunities and that’s why we think it will be so important to Northwest Indiana.”
The center’s other phase will assist local employers and entrepreneurs as they seek to advance and commercialize their new ideas to current and future markets.
“This facility will promote our engagement activities with local business, industry and government,” said Niaz Latif, Executive Director of the Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center. “Fostering innovation, technology and entrepreneurship is what this center is all about. We will cater to the needs of regional industry and manufacturing to find solutions to improve products, processes and productivity.”
Echoing those sentiments and sharing the message of the important impact Purdue Calumet has on the city was Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. “Between the students, faculty and staff, Purdue Calumet is an integral part of our economy. They have such a positive impact on our community and this building is absolutely amazing. The work that has gone on here and the investment that has been made just goes to show Purdue Calumet is anchoring down in Hammond and that’s what we’re trying to get other businesses to do as well," he said.
“Indiana is in need of more substantial economic development,” said Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas L. Keon. “We hope this is just the first phase of what we can do to promote industry and commercialization in our region. We know our manufacturing friends can’t easily shut down their plant to try new equipment or a new strategy, so that’s what our facilities provide: a place where industry, faculty and students can work together to solve problems. That’s a very enriched means of economic development. On the commercialization side, we want the Center to be active in creating and bringing concepts and ideas to market, and we will be a part of all the work that goes into that such as prototypes, patents, and marketing and implementation strategies. This place can become the ‘front door’ of the University, where people feel comfortable coming in and working with us on their ideas.”