Purdue University’s commitments as a public land grant institution that purposefully integrates education, research, and service has enabled the university to develop as a site of innovation and impact at scale, making strategic investments and taking bold risks that produce benefits within wider social, political, and economic systems. We present a description of Purdue’s culture and processes reflecting a research-practice innovation cycle, illustrated by examples spanning seven decades in the engineering education space where practice is a generative site for emergence of new ideas, and research in turn informs practice. Innovation as part of a research-practice cycle is not undertaken for its own sake, but with meaning and purpose. It keeps in view how to enable infrastructure, how to scale, adapt, and personalize, and how to make education inclusive and global. Innovation at scale requires relationship building and working within institutional cultures, building towards transformation and impact using what is available, with a knowledge of how it can travel on to other destinations.