Federal funding to support university partnerships

January 2, 2008

Three projects involving Indiana State University - a partnership launched last spring to help develop new businesses, a study of railroad relocation and an expansion and relocation of the ISU Learning Center in Bedford - have received funding totaling $1,090,000 in the federal appropriations bill for fiscal year 2008.

“The return of these federal dollars to the Wabash Valley will be extremely helpful in building our efforts to assist new businesses, create jobs, provide hands-on opportunities to our students and make our downtown and campus safer and more attractive. We are grateful to Senators Richard Lugar and Evan Bayh and Representatives Brad Ellsworth and Steve Buyer for securing these appropriations,” said ISU President Lloyd W. Benjamin III.

All three projects are related to the university’s strategic efforts to help build the state’s economy, Benjamin said.

The Terre Haute Innovation Alliance, a partnership between ISU, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, the city of Terre Haute and the Terre Haute Economic Development Corp., received $500,000.

The Innovation Alliance was started last spring to provide services to companies that are in the process of developing or expanding their products while engaging students in hands-on projects and creating jobs for the local economy. The partnership was launched with $500,000 in federal support received earlier. Three companies, all technical in nature, are currently receiving services from the alliance which include physical space for product development, business development funding and assistance and expertise from students and faculty at the two higher education institutions.

“The Terre Haute Innovation Alliance is a true success story," said Sen. Bayh. "Small businesses and entrepreneurs are one of the major driving forces behind job creation across the nation and in Indiana. In West Central Indiana, the alliance has already taken on a vital role in partnering with local entrepreneurs to help get new ideas off the ground, and create high-tech, good-paying jobs for Hoosiers. These additional resources to support the good work being done by the alliance are an investment that will help position Indiana for continued success in the global marketplace.”

Additional funding in 2008 will allow the Innovation Alliance to add several more companies into the program, increasing the possibility of new job creation as well as experiences for students at both ISU and Rose-Hulman, indicated Chris Pfaff, director of the ISU Center for Business Support and Economic Innovation and ISU’s coordinator of the Innovation Alliance project.

The university also partnered with the city of Terre Haute on the request for funding to study the issue of relocating railroad tracks which received $440,000. The study will build on current efforts to alleviate safety concerns, reduce traffic congestion and increase public safety while enhancing redevelopment opportunities. The intent of the study is to ensure that any long-term railroad relocation plan is mutually beneficial to Indiana State, the city of Terre Haute and its residents, local businesses and the railroad company.

A $150,000 appropriation will help Indiana State relocate and expand the Learning Center in Bedford to help meet growing demand for higher education services and address economic development efforts.

Enrollment at the center has grown by more than 200 percent since its inception in 1996. In addition to providing a new location for the center, the funding will help support Bedford’s efforts to develop a certified technology park as part of the Lawrence County Sycamore Initiative announced by Bedford and ISU officials last August. Indiana State will serve as the university sponsor of the new park.

“We are working on numerous fronts to build an environment that will spur business development and job creation in both Terre Haute and Bedford. Partnerships such as these bring a greater level of resources and expertise to the table as we work together to build our communities,” said Benjamin.

Contact and writer: Teresa Exline, university spokesperson, (812) 237-7783 or texline@indstate.edu

Story Highlights

Three projects involving Indiana State University - a partnership launched last spring to help develop new businesses, a study of railroad relocation and an expansion and relocation of the ISU Learning Center in Bedford - have received funding totaling $1,090,000 in the federal appropriations bill for fiscal year 2008.

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