PORTAGE - The Portage-based Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana has begun a partnership with Purdue University Northwest. Now known as The Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest, the nonprofit says the collaboration will "further enhance its role as the region's gateway for creators, innovators and entrepreneurs."

Purdue Northwest says the affiliation will help promote a culture of innovation and increase both institutions' impact on the economic, social, and cultural well being of northwest Indiana. Purdue Northwest will serve as the host organization for the society, whose headquarters will be located at the university's Portage Meeting Facility.

"This partnership is very exciting because our research centers, our Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center, and many of our programs such as mechatronics and cybersecurity already are leading the way in innovation in the region and nationally," said Thomas Keon, chancellor of Purdue Northwest. "Furthermore, PNW has a significant number of faculty members at our two campuses, in Hammond and Westville, who are making important innovations in their fields of expertise. Together with our affiliation with the South Shore Leadership Center, this relationship will bring new opportunities for intellectual and business partnerships to benefit the entire region."

Gary Johnson, chair of the society's board of directors, says the board has been pursuing a collaboration with a local university for several months. Purdue Northwest says the society will continue and enhance its role as a provider of programs to recognize innovation in northwest Indiana.