Penn State 'enhancing health' at 2018 industryXchange

June 26, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Building on the success of last year’s inaugural industryXchange and positive feedback received from industry, the Penn State College of Engineering held its second industryXchange on May 14 at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center.

With "Enhancing Health" as its theme, the event brought together 53 representatives from 35 companies and 110 faculty from 13 colleges and units within Penn State to identify research opportunities and challenges and to develop new partnerships to enhance the impact of collective research.

In addition to expanding this year’s event to faculty across colleges and campuses within the University, leaders from government agencies also were invited to connect with faculty and industry to explore joint proposal submissions.

“Our objective is to help our faculty make new connections and explore collaborations across all fronts — industry, government and within Penn State — to advance technology that solves real-world problems,” said Priya Baboo, director of industry, innovation and development in the College of Engineering and organizer of industryXchange.

The event kicked off with a keynote address by Penn State Vice President for Research Neil Sharkey and Associate Vice President for Research and Director of the Office of Industrial Partnerships Jeff Fortin, as well as welcome remarks by Justin Schwartz, Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of Engineering.

The morning continued with networking, poster presentations by Penn State graduate students, and presentations of top multicollege research collaborations of interest to industry. Representatives from government agencies — the National Science Foundation Industry University Cooperative Research Centers and the National Institutes of Health National Heart Lung and Blood Institute — also presented programs to faculty.

“In 2014, President Barron launched the Invent Penn State initiative, which is focused on economic development, job creation, and student career success,” said Fortin, whose Office of Industrial Partnerships sponsored industryXchange. “One key aspect of Invent Penn State is forging stronger win-win relationships with industry that will provide value to our industry partners and to our faculty, students and staff. This workshop is a great way to do that and it successfully brought industry and faculty together to exchange ideas and strengthen relationships.”

The afternoon consisted of moderated panel discussions on topics including data analytics and machine learning; 3D printing/bio-manufacturing; autonomous vehicles; bio-medical imaging/diagnostic technology/biomechanics; regenerative medicine/immunotherapy/drug delivery; and wearables and mobile devices.

“The panel discussions were very informative, constructive and productive. They provided an excellent environment for networking with the panelists as well as other attendees,” said Xi Hu, an attendee from Pfizer.

Frank Kotch from Pfizer added, “I wasn’t aware of a lot of the initiatives underway at Penn State, so it was good to see all the cross-campus, multicollege research going on that is funded by government grants. The event gave us new ideas to bring back to Pfizer, and the research in chemical engineering and chemistry may apply to some of the things that we do.”

The event wrapped up with a tour of Innovation Park at Penn State to show attendees the range of office, manufacturing and research space available throughout its 118-acre site.

“Participation in the industryXchange was a great forum to see a range of Penn State technologies across a wide spectrum that may impact health care delivery,” said Mel Billingsley, president and CEO of Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania and plenary panelist at the event. “The opportunity to network with both faculty and industry representatives was very important and enjoyable, and more time networking would be of value. The real importance of this exchange is that partnerships can be forged, and having Penn State alumni industry representatives really helps form bonds.”

Pouria Motevalian, a Penn State alumnus in attendance from Pfizer, added, “To me, the most interesting and resourceful part of the event was getting to know some of the programs that Penn State has put in place to promote collaboration among academia, industry and regulatory agencies.”

For more information on industryXchange or partnering with the College of Engineering, email Baboo at

Last Updated June 26, 2018