WEST LAFAYETTE - Purdue University has taken another step in its efforts to boost technology commercialization. The Purdue Research Foundation has announced an agreement with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton. The university's Office of Technology Commercialization inked a similar agreement in 2014 with the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center.

The agreement calls for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and Purdue to retain independent ownership of their respective intellectual property. USAF and Purdue intellectual property will be marketed through the PRF-managed Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization.

Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization Vice President Chad Pittman says "the goals of this agreement include implementing our established technology translation processes and to expand the commercialization channels for Purdue and the Air Force Research Laboratory. Because we share so many similar disciplines and industries, the successful marketing and commercialization methods we utilize will fit well with the innovations and technologies that the Air Force Research Laboratory has developed and patented. We are excited to begin this endeavor with the Air Force."

Purdue also has technology transfer partnerships with WestGate Technology Park, the Battery Innovation Center, the Indiana Office of Defense Development, Radius Indiana and the University of Southern Indiana SwiSTEM Resource Center.

AFRL Small Business Office Director Bill Harrison says "we already have a robust research and development program, but the agreement with Purdue will enable us to capitalize on the successful proven approaches used by Purdue to efficiently and effectively commercialize advanced technology products at an even faster rate. In addition, we will be able to tap into Purdue's established entrepreneurial activities including educational and mentoring opportunities and its entrepreneurs-in-residence program."

The laboratory touts successful technological innovations such as hypersonics, directed-energy weapons and autonomy. Its program is comprised of $2.1 billion of internal and $2.3 billion of external funding.

Purdue is coming off of two straight record years of commercialization activity. The Office of Technology Commercialization and the Purdue Foundry say 49 startups based on Purdue University intellectual property were launched in 2014 and 2015, representing more than $96 million in venture funding.