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Northeastern Launches Joint Innovation Center with Rogers Corporation

North­eastern Uni­ver­sity and Rogers Cor­po­ra­tion have announced plans to estab­lish the Rogers Inno­va­tion Center at Northeastern’s George J. Kostas Research Insti­tute for Home­land Secu­rity in Burlington, Mass.

North­eastern Uni­ver­sity and Rogers Cor­po­ra­tion have announced plans to estab­lish the Rogers Inno­va­tion Center at Northeastern’s George J. Kostas Research Insti­tute for Home­land Secu­rity in Burlington, Mass. This part­ner­ship demon­strates the emer­gence of a new oppor­tu­nity for university-corporate col­lab­o­ra­tions aimed at accel­er­ating the com­mer­cial­iza­tion of basic research.

As a global tech­nology leader in advanced mate­rials and com­po­nents for con­sumer and power elec­tronics, trans­porta­tion, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, and defense sys­tems, Rogers’ exper­tise closely aligns with Northeastern’s focus on use-inspired research in health, secu­rity, and sustainability.

The part­ner­ship will allow North­eastern and Rogers to leverage their com­ple­men­tary research and devel­op­ment ini­tia­tives in advanced mate­rials. Rogers is a world leader in devel­oping and man­u­fac­turing unique, high-performance materials used in high-frequency printed cir­cuits, power elec­tronics, impact pro­tec­tion, and sealing appli­ca­tions. North­eastern brings to the part­ner­ship a broad range of mate­rials research exper­tise in areas as diverse as super strong carbon fibers and meta­ma­te­rials designed for invis­i­bility cloaking.

Northeastern University
The new Rogers Innovation Center will be located at Northeastern's George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security in Burlington, Mass. Northeastern file photo  

“We are incred­ibly excited about this unique part­ner­ship with Rogers Cor­po­ra­tion, one that can be a model for how uni­ver­si­ties and cor­po­ra­tions should interact in the future for the ben­efit of both par­ties,” said Melvin Bern­stein, senior vice provost for research and grad­uate edu­ca­tion at North­eastern. “The ben­e­fits of co-locating researchers from both enti­ties include iden­ti­fying research projects that both meet aca­d­emic stan­dards and market needs, helping to pre­pare a skilled work­force and suc­cess­fully addressing joint and sep­a­rate intel­lec­tual prop­erty issues. This part­ner­ship pro­vides a tem­plate for addressing the national need to better leverage the intel­lec­tual prowess and inno­v­a­tive uni­ver­sity envi­ron­ment to improve indus­trial competitiveness.”

Focused on the ear­liest stages of tech­nical and com­mer­cial devel­op­ment, the center will foster a col­lab­o­ra­tive envi­ron­ment for devel­oping new high-??tech mate­rials solu­tions in close align­ment with market needs. Robust com­mu­ni­ca­tions infra­struc­ture is among the ini­tial appli­ca­tion areas tar­geted by the partnership.

Bob Daigle, chief tech­nology officer for Rogers, com­mented, “Our team looks for­ward to col­lab­o­rating with aca­d­emic researchers in the entre­pre­neurial envi­ron­ment being cre­ated at the Kostas Insti­tute. Together with North­eastern, we are excited to share capa­bil­i­ties and sci­en­tific knowl­edge to create new mate­rials solu­tions that will help power, pro­tect, and con­nect the world in new and better ways.”

To be com­pleted by year-end, the inno­va­tion center will be housed in 4,000 square feet of the 70,000-square-foot Kostas Insti­tute and will include lab­o­ra­to­ries, con­fer­ence rooms, and office space for both North­eastern fac­ulty mem­bers and a core team of R&D, mar­keting, and new busi­ness devel­op­ment pro­fes­sionals from Rogers. The co-location of per­sonnel and the modern “open-office” struc­ture are intended to encourage corporate-academic col­lab­o­ra­tion, and inno­va­tion from basic research through com­mer­cial­iza­tion. The center will also pro­vide a unique oppor­tu­nity for North­eastern stu­dents to gain first-hand insight on the inner work­ings of industry.

In addi­tion to the research, devel­op­ment, and com­mer­cial­iza­tion activ­i­ties, Rogers has com­mitted to pro­viding sub­stan­tial, multi-year funding for North­eastern research pro­grams and grad­uate stu­dent education.