Indiana University and Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane hosted White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Assistant Director for Defense programs Chris Fall at a Thursday, Oct. 8, roundtable focused on the roles of IU and NSWC Crane in promoting regional economic innovation.
Fall, who works on defense-related science, technology and innovation matters, traveled to NSWC Crane for a Friday tour. But his first stop was in Bloomington, where Fall attended a regional economic development discussion held at the Wrubel Conference Room of IU’s Cyberinfrastructure Building.
Along with NSWC Crane officials, other attendees included representatives of the Indiana University Research and Technology Corp., Innovate Indiana, the Bloomington Economic Development Corp., Indiana Office of Defense Development, faculty members of IU’s School of Informatics and Computing, Radius Indiana and the Purdue Research Foundation.
“This provided an opportunity for some of our region’s key innovation partners to meet Dr. Fall, as well as a chance for Dr. Fall to learn about ongoing and expanding initiatives that involve IU and Crane, and are designed to boost innovative activities and economic vitality in our region.”
— Kirk White, IU assistant vice president and military liaison
Such projects include the Grand Challenges initiative, in which IU will invest at least $300 million over the next five years to address some of greatest challenges that face Indiana and mankind. In August, IU also was awarded a five-year, $1.66 million grant from the Department of the Navy to develop an innovative training model for STEM researchers (science, technology, engineering and math) with diverse backgrounds.
On Wednesday (Oct. 14), IU and Naval Support Activity Crane will sign an educational partnership agreement that allows IU students, faculty and researchers to use NSA Crane facilities as a lab for applied research in science, information technology, engineering, math, sustainability and other skills.
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy was established in 1976. It advises the president on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs.
Prior to his current role, Fall served as deputy director of research for education and workforce at the Office of Naval Research. Before entering government, Fall served on the faculty of the bio-engineering department at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He earned his Ph.D. in neuroscience and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia, as well as an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
During his visit to NSWC Crane, Fall received briefings on how research, engineering, development and sustainment efforts at Crane support vital defense needs such as strategic missions, special missions and electronic warfare.