A groundbreaking conference that will bring together technology leaders at Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane and Indiana University — as well as other academic, industry and government partners — is set for Oct. 12-13 at the Bloomington/Monroe County Convention Center.
Known as “Innovation Crossover: The Shape of Things to Come,” the event is the first of its kind for southwest central Indiana and seeks to accelerate the rise of an innovation ecosystem throughout the region and state. Along with IU, NSWC Crane worked with Radius Indiana, Purdue University, the University of Southern Indiana, Cook Medical, the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville, U.S. Air Force Research Labs and the Indiana Office of Defense Development to develop the agenda and vision for the event.
While fostering new economic growth is one goal of the conference, its main objective is to build multi-institutional research collaborations. Part of this involves leveraging existing industry clusters in the region with great growth potential, such as Department of Defense technologies, advanced manufacturing, information technology, cybersecurity and the life sciences.
“Our region is ripe with the talent and potential to spark a wave of entrepreneurialism and innovation,” said Becky Skillman, senior adviser for Radius Indiana and former Indiana lieutenant governor. “Through this event we want to see the area’s ability to foster tech-based economic development come to the forefront.”
Keynote speakers throughout the event include Indiana Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb; Chris Fall, executive director of defense programs for the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy; and Walter Jones, executive director of the Office of Naval Research.
Several IU representatives are scheduled to speak as well, among them Brad Wheeler, IU’s vice president for information technology and chief information officer. In all, more than 30 participants from IU Bloomington and IUPUI are set to take part in the conference, said Kirk White, IU’s military liaison and assistant vice president of strategic partnerships.
“This conference culminates about a year’s worth of planning and preparation between NSWC-Crane, IU and our other partners,” White said. “It is our hope that this conference not only will contribute toward solving some of our biggest mutual research challenges, but add momentum toward economic improvement throughout southwest central Indiana.”