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Mann Foundation backs out of Purdue partnership

A foundation that pledged $100 million to Purdue will come up about $80 million short of its commitment.

The Alfred E. Mann Foundation for Biomedical Engineering is backing out of its agreement with Purdue on the Mann Institute on the West Lafayette campus. The entity helps commercialize life science technologies through early-stage funding and business guidance.

John Hertig is the executive director of the Institute. He says he was surprised when the Mann Foundation announced its decision about a month ago.

"We didn't think there was any reason to question our source of funding through the commitments made back in 2007, but we were also prepared, if something happened, we'd go on. That's what's going to occur."

He says the Institute has been successful at Purdue, and projects will continue as planned. The Mann Foundation will provide funding for another year, and Hertig says the work will continue.

"We have severally really exciting projects close to commercialization that we'll push harder toward those exits as we've planned. And at the end of the day, we expect the institute will survive quite well."

The Mann Foundation for Biomedical Engineering has satisfied $15.5 million of its original pledge. The amount it's funding for another year of operation is not being disclosed.