Purdue, Purdue Research Foundation launch 'Lab to Life' 6G digital innovation at Discovery Park District

The Purdue Research Foundation and Purdue University on Tuesday (Aug. 24) announced the launch of the “Lab to Life” (L2L) digital innovation platform in the Discovery Park District adjacent to the university campus. The launch is the next step in creating one of the most connected innovation communities in the nation through the evolution from 5G to 6G.

“6G will go from a domain to a foundation to many vertical domains, from one network to a heterogeneous network of networks. From dynamic sharing and new spectra to edge intelligence and open architecture, 6G research needs to be accelerated through deployment in the U.S.,” said Mung Chiang, Purdue’s executive vice president for strategic initiatives and the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering. “This group of prominent industry partners and their leaders will turn Purdue’s Discovery Park District into the country’s first at-scale 6G deployment zone, and, along with other essential elements like learning and the arts, create a work-live-play connected community.”

L2L leverages the unique governance structure and open, neutral-host technology infrastructure being deployed across the entire 400-plus acres of the district to advance the development of next-generation wireless networks and digital applications.

Earlier this year, PRF announced partnerships with neutral-host infrastructure provider Tilson to deploy more than 15 miles of high-capacity fiber, emanating from an edge data center, and with SBA Communications for deployment of private CBRS networks throughout the district. Over the next decade, this community infrastructure will provide products and services to the approximately 20,000 people who will live, work, learn and visit in the district.

“Our vision has been to not only provide one of the most connected communities in the U.S. for the residents, employers and visitors in the district,” said David Broecker, chief innovation and collaboration officer for PRF. “We also wanted to create an innovation community with a set of capabilities and assets to advance digital solutions in collaboration with leading technology companies and industrial partners.”

To support these efforts, PRF and Purdue have formed the Technology Leaders Advisory Board (TLAB) composed of leading technology companies to advise on further build-out of networks and infrastructure in ways that will maintain the open nature of the platform to support the future deployment of networks and applications. Corporate members include AT&T, Celona, Cisco, Dell, Ericsson, Intel, SBA Communications and Tilson. 

“Over time, we want to expand this group to include others,” said Troy Hege, PRF vice president for technology and innovation. “The combination of being adjacent to the campus of Purdue and advancing innovation leveraging the district’s infrastructure platform provides the perfect environment for testing and evaluating next-generation technology solutions.”

Later this fall, a competition for deployment-ready, cutting-edge innovation will be held.  Universities and companies will be invited to suggest technologies they would like to deploy in either the infrastructure or the applications of 5G, WiFi6 and 6G.

About Discovery Park District

The Discovery Park District is a 400-acre, $1 billion-plus purpose-driven community adjacent to campus that will include laboratories, advanced manufacturing facilities, offices, retail shops, restaurants, housing, green space, trails, and an airport with a 7,000-foot runway. The district, which is a designated opportunity zone, houses the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration, a facility designed to serve as a “front door” to companies that seek to collaborate with Purdue. Companies interested in locating in the Discovery Park District or Convergence Center should contact David Broecker, the Purdue Research Foundation’s chief innovation and collaboration officer, at dabroecker@prf.org. 


David Broecker: dbroecker@prf.org 

Troy Hege: tdhege@prf.org

Media inquiries: Christy Denault, 317-417-6322

Purdue Research Foundation contact: Steve Martin, sgmartin@prf.org