Northwestern University and Baxter Healthcare Corporation have announced plans to create a multidisciplinary research and innovation alliance.

Under the three-year renewable agreement, Baxter will fund research-collaboration projects at Northwestern.

In a joint news release the company and the school said funding levels for each year may reach approximately $1 million, and Baxter will determine specific project funding levels. Activities will focus on new therapeutics, biomedical and device engineering, biomaterials, and drug-delivery technologies.

Faculty from across the university will conduct the research. A committee of senior research and development leaders from Northwestern and Baxter will assist in the identification of potential projects. The McCormick School of Engineering’s Office of Corporate Relations will administer the alliance.

“We believe this partnership with Baxter will benefit everyone involved. It will lead to fostering the development of cutting-edge technology and bringing it to the marketplace,” said Northwestern University President Henry S. Bienen.

McCormick Dean Julio M. Ottino agreed, adding, “I’m confident that our shared interests in these research areas combined with the high level of entrepreneurship among McCormick faculty and students will prove fruitful.”

The partnership builds on the strong relationship between Northwestern and Baxter. The company already collaborates with the university on topics ranging from stem cell and nanotechnology research to student recruitment.

“Northwestern is unique in the way it connects its schools – engineering, business and medical – in a ‘real world” way, encouraging translation of research into products that can advance patient care,” said Norbert Riedel, Ph.D., Baxter’s corporate vice president and chief scientific officer.

This is one of the most significant partnerships that Northwestern has developed with a healthcare company. Northwestern has similar partnerships with Honeywell, Ford Motor Company, and Boeing International.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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