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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — With the looming split between Indiana University and Purdue University at the IUPUI campus in Indianapolis, the new leader of Purdue says the school’s presence will not be going away in downtown Indianapolis.

By 2024, IUPUI will become IU-Indianapolis with Purdue maintaining its buildings on the campus, but those buildings will come under the full purview of Purdue’s West Lafayette campus going forward.

The new president of Purdue University, Mung Chiang, tells Inside Indiana Business that the plan will be the bookend to a much larger plan that involves public-private partnerships along a “Hard Tech” corridor between West Lafayette and Indianapolis.

“Our goal is very simple. The university will invest in and partner with growing the tech scene in our Capitol City,” said Chiang. “Part of that is going to grow the workforce by graduating more students in Indianapolis. Part of that is creating more jobs by attracting more companies to come here.”

Chiang said the Hard Tech corridor includes both campuses in West Lafayette and Indianapolis along with Discovery Park near Purdue’s main campus and meeting in the middle in Lebanon where many companies are planning to set up shop as part of the proposed LEAP district.

Eli Lilly plans big investments in a facility at the LEAP district in Boone County. Chiang said that hard tech such as the microelectronics, biopharmaceuticals, and aerospace industries, could be a transformational area for central Indiana.

“We are already, Purdue West Lafayette, the largest top research university graduating STEM talents in America today,” he said. “And we’re very confident that in Indianapolis as part of produce core campus, we’re gonna have Purdue in Indy contributing to the economic vibrancy and the future of job growth here in our capital.”

Chiang said the whole strategy will build upon the work laid by his predecessor, Mitch Daniels, whom Chiang credits for growing Purdue University to the point that a massive partnership such as this would be possible.