Notre Dame Doubles Down With $25M Fund

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In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Ritchie talked about Notre Dame’s increasing engagement in economic development. In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Ritchie talked about Notre Dame’s increasing engagement in economic development.
SOUTH BEND -

The University of Notre Dame is continuing to put its considerable reputation and influence to work around innovation and entrepreneurship, and Indiana is benefiting. The world-class research institution is this week announcing the creation of a $25 million fund that will target innovative ideas and companies. The school is expected to release details on the effort this week. "This is really groundbreaking for a university as a general (partner), very few actually run a fund as a general partner, which is what we will be doing, which will allow us to invest in these companies," said Bryan Ritchie, Notre Dame's vice president and associate provost for innovation.

In an interview on this weekend's edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Ritchie talked about Notre Dame’s increasing engagement in economic development.

The launch of the fund continues momentum that has been building at Notre Dame around efforts to help grow the regional and state economies.

"For Notre Dame to really accomplish its mission and goals, it needs the community to transform, and we're trying to create an ecosystem that will drive economic growth and development far into the future," said Ritchie, who points to numerous examples of momentum in recent months.

Last month, the university's IDEA Center announced it had surpassed its goal for launching faculty and student startups companies in its first year of operation. The university says a total of 27 startups were created between July 2017 and June 2018, topping the original goal of 16.

Notre Dame says the number of new startups nearly equals the total amount launched by the university in its entire 175-year history prior to 2017. The university's previous single-year record for new startups was three, in 2016.

One of the companies housed at the center, Trion Coatings LLC, just landed an investment from North Carolina-based Nucor Corp. Trion has developed an environmentally-friendly chrome plating process in partnership with Notre Dame faculty.

Also, leadership at Notre Dame played critical roles in the region's winning Regional Cities Initiative bid, which includes dozens of projects totaling more than $735 million, including a transformation of South Bend’s former Studebaker buildings and improvements to Ignition Park.

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