Orthopaedics is a rapidly growing industry with continued growth projections as the world and national population ages. By most accounts, the "aging baby-boomer population" in the United States will live longer and desire to maintain a standard of active living unequaled by previous generations. Consequently, substantially increasing demands are expected to be placed on the orthopaedics industry to provide improved methods for repairing common fractures and common orthopaedic ailments associated with aging.

The University of Notre Dame, located in South Bend, IN, expects to play an important role in shaping the orthopaedic industry for the next century. Six of the world’s largest orthopaedic implant manufacturers, representing over six billion dollars in annual sales, are located in Warsaw, IN, within sixty miles of the university. In fact, Notre Dame is the closest research university to Warsaw and, consequently, has begun to enjoy close relationships with the companies there. Thus far, Notre Dame has successfully partnered with Zimmer, Inc., and J.J. Depuy Orthopedics, a Johnson & Johnson Co., on three large projects funded by the Indiana 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, and is developing additional research projects with other prominent orthopaedic companies.

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