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How Purdue's Rolls-Royce Facility Might Affect Defense Appropriations

Dignitaries cutting the ribbon Thursday at a new Rolls-Royce research facility at Purdue University say increased defense spending proposed in President Trump’s budget could enable growth of the school’s fledgling aerospace park.

“You know, if the defense budget goes up, I certainly hope and expect that Rolls-Royce technology will be right there with it – going up," says Rolls-Royce North America CEO Marion Blakey. "Because we do expect that we could do work right here, in West Lafayette. We could do it right here at this facility.”

Purdue Research Foundation President Dan Hasler says he’s counting on that, too.

“If the U.S. Government decides that they want to do yet more research in defense and defense technologies, it’ll all trickle down," Hasler says. "Not just to the defense industry, but to universities that do a lot of [Department of Defense] or defense engineering work for them.”

However, universities may have to make up lost cash from other budget line items. President Trump’s budget proposes a nearly $4 billion cut to the Pell Grant program for low-income students, as well as slashing funding for the National Institutes of Health, which forward much of that money on to university researchers.

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