Faculty ambassador program to support agricultural innovators

butzke-portraitChristian Butzke, a professor of food science and entrepreneur in the wine industry, has been selected as the first startup and innovation member. (Image provided)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A new campus-wide innovation and entrepreneurship program will help connect Purdue University innovators with new avenues for entrepreneurship and commercialization.

To kick off the program, the College of Agriculture appointed Christian Butzke, professor of food science and wine entrepreneur, as its first startup and innovation member.

Butzke said: “I couldn’t be more excited about this amazing opportunity to share my passion for innovation and entrepreneurship with our amazing faculty. “I look forward to working with faculty and students interested in commercialization to bring their innovations to the world.”

In this new role, Butzke will faculty and student advisors consider entrepreneurship. He will also assist Karen Plaut, Dean of the Glenn W. Sample School of Agriculture, in developing and implementing business and commercialization strategies for the College of Agriculture.

“The commercialization of Purdue’s discoveries is critical to our efforts as a worldwide leader in addressing the challenges of food, life and natural resource science.

“The College of Agriculture has made great strides in working with Dan Dawes and its ecosystem partners,” said Bernie Engel, associate dean and director of agricultural research and graduate education. us in founding startups based on the discoveries of faculty, students and staff. We look forward to growing this success with the addition of Christian to the role.”

Butzke co-founded VinSense, a company that helps grow wine grapes through Purdue’s patented technology. Dawes is an advisor to the Purdue Foundry.

“This is another strategic way to support Purdue’s mission to improve the world through technology and graduates,” said Wade Lange, vice president and chief business officer of the Purdue Research Foundation. Dr. Butzke is a great example of an entrepreneur on the faculty who is innovative and passionate about helping others achieve their dreams. We anticipate that other universities will soon join the program.”

The school-wide program will be coordinated through the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. Faculty interested in learning more about this program can contact Arnold Chen at [email protected].

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a leading public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked 5th among the most innovative universities in the United States by US News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and extraordinary discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue provides a transformative education for all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue froze tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in pursuit of the next giant leap at

Writer: Chris Adam, [email protected]

Christian Butzke, [email protected]

Wade Lange, [email protected]

Agricultural communication: 765-494-8415;

Maureen Manier, Head of Department, [email protected]

Agriculture news site


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