On Friday the State Budget Committee approved $7 million for the construction of the Center for Entrepreneurship.

State Rep. Sheila Klinker, D-Lafayette, said, "I think the governor and the budget chairman and the other budget members see this as a real link for being a sparkplug for jobs in Indiana. That is good for Hoosier business."

Purdue will finance the project through a $7 million grant from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation.

Morgan received his Purdue degree in mechanical engineering in 1938. In 1992, the University awarded him with an honorary doctorate in management.

The Purdue board of trustees named the center after Morgan's foundation in April.

It will be part of Purdue's $100 million Discovery Park.

The building will be 31,000 square feet, two stories and connected to future adjacent buildings with overhead walkways. The project will include the construction of a 72-seat lecture room, a presentation room and several conference and breakout rooms for use by occupants in Discovery Park.

"The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship will bring together all of Purdue's efforts to put the University's research into the marketplace," said Purdue President Martin Jischke in a press release. "The center not only will house our initiatives in entrepreneurism, but it also will form the critical link between Purdue and Indiana's economy."

The center will house:

• The Technology Transfer Initiative, which will research issues industry encounters when trying to license and market new technologies and products.

• The Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurial Competition, in which engineering and management students combine to demonstrate their idea for new products or services and show how they could be developed into a profitable business.

• The Purdue Engineering Projects in Community Service program, in which undergraduate students work with community service agencies to use technology in solving problems and improving service.

• The New Ventures Laboratory, which will allow venture capitalists and entrepreneurs to conduct workshops and also will allow students to administer a venture fund investing in new technologies.

• Forums where graduating students can present business plans to business and community leaders.

Richard Cosier, dean of the School of Management, is the director for the center.

He said, "With the Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurial Competition and other initiatives at the Center for Entrepreneurship, we are nurturing an entrepreneurial culture at Purdue not only for our students but also for our professors."

The center will be one of four major parts planned for the Discovery Park complex. The research park will also include the Birk Nanotechnology Center, a bioscience/engineering center and an e-enterprises center.

Construction is scheduled to begin before the end of this year.