WEST LAFAYETTE - University officials throughout Indiana continue to tout the innovations being pumped out at their respective institutions. The Purdue Research Foundation is marking a record startup class, with Purdue patents spawning 27 startups. Indiana University has also been on a roll, attracting nearly $1 billion in research investments and notching a personal best for patents. The University of Notre Dame last month announced its second-highest research funding total ever, receiving $128 million.

PRF President Dan Hasler tells Inside INdiana Business the entrepreneurship climate statewide is trending higher. "The fun thing to see and watch, I believe that at Purdue and, frankly, in Indiana as well, we're seeing a lot more activity in corporate startup creation, in general. But I think it's with a Midwestern flavor. We in the Midwest, we build things, you know, we create things that run and operate." As a result, Hasler says startups and innovators tend to branch out from manufacturing, engineering, robotics, home design and maintenance.

In an interview last weekend on Inside INdiana Business Television, IU President Michael McRobbie said high levels of research activity can spur job creation and attract top students and faculty. "The patents and the innovations turn into startups, last year, seven new startups on top of five the year before, so there's no a constant flow of startups coming out of Indiana University and all of that leverages the intellectual talent on our two major campuses." The Indiana University Research and Technology Corp. says the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a record 53 patents last year based on IU discoveries.

Though down slightly from 2015, Notre Dame's research funding totals were still near-record levels. Vice President for Research Robert Bernhard said "this was another strong year for Notre Dame Research and it reflects the talents of our faculty and students. Due to their hard work and great achievements, we are celebrating another successful year for research funding and finished strong with the highest month of funding - nearly $23 million in June - in the University’s history." The school's areas of research cut across a wide range of fields, including cancer, computational data science and engineering, global health, nanotechnology and turbomachinery propulsion.