Rolls-Royce Coming to Purdue Aerospace District

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The building will include space for other interested companies. The building will include space for other interested companies.

The recently-established Purdue Research Park Aerospace District in West Lafayette has its first tenant. Rolls-Royce Corp. says it will occupy a research and development facility in the district that will be built and owned by the Purdue Research Foundation. The company says the center will allow it to collaborate with Purdue researchers and students as well as corporate partners in the design, development and testing of jet engine components. Today's announcement could mark the beginning of major growth for the company in Indiana. Rolls-Royce earlier this year said it was considering investing "several hundred million dollars" to modernize its facilities.

The Purdue Research Park Aerospace District opened this year. It includes the Purdue University Airport, Purdue Aviation, the Mach 6 Quiet Flow Ludwieg Tube Wind Tunnel and the Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories. It has been designated an Indiana Certified Technology Park by the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

Today's announcement marks the latest chapter in the ongoing collaboration between Purdue and Rolls-Royce. The school says the company has invested more than $17 million in collaborative research and development projects at Purdue, and has nearly 600 of the school's graduates working for it.

In a release from Purdue, Rolls-Royce executive Denny Warner said, "We are pleased to be the first to join the Purdue Research Park Aerospace District and we see great potential in how it will continue to help us provide innovative solutions for our customers. The energy that is generated from the activities in the district and the proximity to Purdue's airport, and the aviation, engineering and technology programs will provide us with greater opportunities to conduct collaborative research with Purdue while we continue to advance our own work in jet engine development."

Purdue and West Lafayette are working together on $60 million in improvements to the infrastructure and pedestrian area near the district. The upgrades include two-way traffic lanes, bike trails and wider walkways along a two-mile stretch on State Street. West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis says the announcement shows the potential of the State Street Project, saying it will "create a gateway to West Lafayette and Purdue University that will support economic development and improved quality of life for the region."

Purdue Research Foundation President Dan Hasler says the move sets the stage for future growth at the district.
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