Purdue University is again being recognized nationally for commercialization and entrepreneurship efforts. The California-based economic think tank Milken Institute ranks the school tops in the Midwest and 12th overall in its "The Best Universities for Technology Transfer" report. Purdue Research Foundation President and Chief Entrepreneurial Officer Dan Hasler says the ranking shows Purdue is "running with the big dogs" like Harvard, Stanford and MIT.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Hasler says the focus on commercialization at the college level is a "tide that is rising across Indiana." Efforts such as a record-breaking prototyping collaboration between Rose-Hulman Ventures and the Indiana University Research and Technology Corp., record patent approvals for the IURTC, the launch of the IDEA Center and other commercialization-focused plays at the University of Notre Dame, and records for startup launches and patents issued at Purdue. Last July, Purdue also announced a partnership with Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) subsidiary Sandia Corp. concerning research and development and technology transfer.

Purdue placed at the top of the Milken Institute’s list among colleges and universities without a medical school. "While we’ve got a lot of really good life sciences researchers at Purdue — researchers in engineering, veterinary and pharmacy across the board — you know, we don’t have that engine that a lot of the schools have through a medical school and medical school research," Hasler said, "but despite that, we seem to be hanging with them. It’s a great interim step for us, you know, we’re not satisfied being in the top 12, we think we ought to be better. But after a half-decade of focused effort on this, it’s a good interim goal, a good step, and we’ll take it and now work for the next rungs up."

The report, which keys on activities that are considered contributors to long-term economic growth such as patents, licenses, licensing income and startup creation, was last released in 2006. Purdue has jumped 27 spots overall since and finished behind top schools including the University of Utah, Columbia University, University of Florida, Brigham Young University and Stanford University.

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Purdue Research Foundation President and Chief Entrepreneurial Officer Dan Hasler says the focus on commercialization at the college level is a “tide that is rising across Indiana.”