Higher education has always been centered around innovation, collaboration, and community-building – so it’s no surprise that coworking spaces have started to pop up at colleges and universities across the country.
A direct personification of innovation, the flexible office industry has adapted over the years to meet the ever-changing demands of today’s working professionals.
As these demands change, colleges and universities are also looking for new ways to build groundbreaking communities where faculty, students, companies, and business professionals alike can live, work, play, and learn.
But why would a company want to utilize a coworking space to have a presence near a world–class college or university?
To answer these questions, we look at Purdue University’s Discovery Park District – a 400-acre mixed-use community, “where businesses of all sizes can access a business-minded University, global talent pipelines, and advanced research and development facilities” (About – Discovery Park District).
These three specific sentiments – proximity to Purdue University, access to top tier talent, and access to state-of-the-art facilities – all broadly demonstrate how higher education and the flexible office industry complement each other.
Let’s now use Purdue University as a case study to dig even deeper.
First, proximity, is as simple as the fact that these intuitions are easily accessible and ready to work with new companies.
“The Purdue Research Foundation’s Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the US,” writes Discovery Park District.
“OTC protects Purdue University’s intellectual property and leads the technology transfer activities for patented Purdue innovations with a goal to help society live healthier, happier, longer lives.”
A common goal that many companies and flex office providers share, is working to improve society, which is aligned with OTC’s mission.
So, it’s no surprise that relocating your company near a university would come with ample business opportunities.
Purdue’s campus is also just a two-hour drive from Chicago as well as an hour drive from Indianapolis so companies would have easy access to large markets.
Second, institutions such as Purdue boast a consistently talented group of intellectuals who are eager to advance their careers – both as undergraduates and alumni.
The Discovery Park District site writes, “Students accepted at Purdue have an average GPA of 3.69 on a 4.0 scale.”
“Purdue also is recognized as a top-tier educational destination for international students.”
What could be better than some of the brightest students looking for internship or post-graduate opportunities, all located just miles from your company?
And finally, Purdue University associates itself with a constant, “… tradition of excellence [and] a persistent pursuit of innovation.”
The Discovery Park District site writes, “The District is a massive mixed used development embedded into the fabric of a globally admired research institution-Purdue University. Here, innovative corporations and high growth businesses can access advanced research and development facilities.”
Some of the main areas of focus in The Discovery Park District are centered around aerospace and defense, animal health and life sciences, AgTech, advanced manufacturing, AI + 5G technology, and much more.
Additionally, PON is proud to offer enterprise clients a new, flexible workspace option within the Convergence Center.
Located within the Convergence Center is an open source 5G innovation lab – which just happens to be directly across the hall from Convergence’s coworking center – which makes this space that much more appealing for companies looking to test software and innovation.
While Purdue University and The Discovery Park District serve as just a single case study, coworking and higher education are becoming increasingly intertwined all over the country – it’s just up to you to join the buzz.
With so many contrasting and complimentary goals and ambitions, there’s no telling how successful the future of this partnership will be.