Agreement to Accelerate Technology to the Warfighter

Agreement to Accelerate Technology to the Warfighter

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division’s (NSWC Crane) NavalX Midwest Tech Bridge has awarded its first Collaborative Project Order to the Indiana Innovation Institute (IN3) to foster collaboration among universities, industry, small businesses and non-profits to accelerate technology to the warfighter in areas including trusted microelectronics, hypersonics, and electro-optics.

In 2019, NSWC Crane was chosen as one of six Tech Bridge sites in the nation to improve collaboration and agility throughout the U.S. Department of the Navy.

IN3 is engaging with the Midwest Tech Bridge in a number of ways including organizing events like tech demonstrations, prize challenges, hackathons, and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) opportunities. IN3 also will be facilitating engagement with local Navy and Department of Defense (DoD) partners at its innovation space located off-base at the WestGate Academy Conference and Training Center in Odon, Ind.

Monica Hutchins, the regional director of the Midwest Tech Bridge, says this award is significant because it will provide new ways to engage partners in the innovation ecosystem.

“This first Collaborative Project Order with IN3 establishes the initial Tech Bridge focus areas and external collaboration opportunities,” said Hutchins. “We will be able to engage with small businesses, non-traditional companies like start-ups, and academia outside the fence line in ways we haven’t done before. Through this project, we will be able to expand our partnership base to quickly get technology into the hands of the warfighter.”

In addition to the Navy, the agreement is aimed at benefiting a number of initiatives and organizations across the state and particularly in the Indiana Uplands region. It will help advance Governor Holcomb’s defense strategy, boost the state’s economy through new business projects, tap into the expertise at the state’s top research universities, and forge collaborations among a host of entities, which may not have partnered on defense projects in the past.

“This is a great opportunity to support the Navy by matching strong regional and statewide technology companies and their expertise with the Navy’s critical missions,” said Stephen Kelly, president and CEO of IN3. “Indiana has strong defense capabilities and this agreement further strengthens those efforts through collaboration.”

A signing ceremony was held at the WestGate@Crane Technology Park and was attended by Commanding Officer of NSWC Crane Captain Mark Oesterreich, Dr. Brett Seidle, technical director, NSWC Crane, Monica Hutchins, regional director of Midwest Tech Bridge, Stephen Kelly, president and CEO of IN3, and other representatives of both organizations.

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