By Jason Whitney, manager of strategic partnerships, Indiana University Research and Technology Corp.
As we close out 2017, construction nears completion on a project originally announced in February. At that time, Gov. Eric Holcomb took the stage at Launch Fishers to kick off the Indiana IoT Lab – Fishers project.
Bill Stephan, Indiana University vice president for engagement, stood alongside Gov. Holcomb to announce IU as a founding sponsor for this first node of the eventual Indiana IoT Lab network to be housed throughout the state. As a founding sponsor, IU will be able to use the lab to add valuable experiential learning opportunities for its students, engage with large corporations on immersive projects, further faculty research projects utilizing emerging technologies and provide professional development opportunities for alumni in the region.
The IoT Lab – Fishers will serve as an economic driver on multiple fronts.
- It will allow local entrepreneurs with an idea and a dream to have a landing spot, similar to a co-working space, where they can work on their idea and collaborate on how to bring it to fruition.
- The equipment housed in the building will assist with the prototyping process.
- The industry expertise provided by tenant companies will help fill technical gaps the entrepreneurs might have.
- This space will serve as a knowledge hub, allowing corporate partners to engage with entrepreneurial-minded tenants who are looking for something around which to create a company. Large corporations have already expressed interest in issuing a challenge to tenants to help them solve a problem for which they don’t have the manpower to solve, thus creating an immediate customer for a newly created company founded on the solution to the posed problem.
- The space will allow for educational opportunities where students, alumni and the community can learn about emerging technologies, play with brand-new products not yet on the market, and network for future job or project collaborations.
In addition to a co-working-type environment, the lab will feature more-traditional office environments for some of the fastest-growing companies in Indiana, including ClearObject, a national leader in “internet of things” development and deployment.
The soon-to-launch Indiana IoT Lab – Fishers space holds promise as the state continues to diversify the industries that power its economic engine. Through its sponsorship of the space and support of the program to build internet of things locations across the state, IU again proves itself to be a strong contributor of economic development.