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Continuing a trend of strengthened R&D collaborations between industry and academia, General Electric and Purdue University have formed a partnership intended to expedite the commercialization of technology invented at the school. Tony Denhart, a university relations manager at GE, says the two organizations already have close ties; GE hires more students from Purdue than from any other university. The new pact will provide GE access to Purdue inventions through quarterly meetings, collaboration with university spin-offs, and involvement of GE’s venture capital arms. Innovations being considered for development are in areas such as medical diagnostic imaging, propulsion, solar energy, energy recovery, and biological testing. Other corporate giants are also strengthening ties with academia. For example, Eastman Chemical entered a $10 million, six-year collaboration with North Carolina State University last year.
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