The Indiana University Council for Regional Engagement and Economic Development, or CREED, hosted its first quarterly meeting of 2019 on Feb. 13 at the Indiana IoT Lab in Fishers.
Bill Stephan, IU vice president for engagement and CREED chair, welcomed council members to the space.
“The Indiana IoT Lab – Fishers attracts and supports projects related to the internet of things. It has grown and developed fast, and it is already filled to capacity just one year after opening. Indiana University has taken an interest in it because of the school’s strengths,” Stephan said. “The university has dedicated space at the lab for researchers and students to connect with one another and with innovative people from the area.”
Stephan shared new developments at the university, including IUPUI celebrating its 50th anniversary with Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett issuing a proclamation. The Office of the Vice President for Engagement continues to look for innovation gateways throughout the state, including Northeast Indiana and suburban Indianapolis. The IU Philanthropic Venture Fund has been nominated for Investor of the Year at the 2019 TechPoint Mira Awards.
“There were approximately 5,000 students at IU Southeast in the fall 2018 semester, with about one-third of the student body being first-generation students. The campus ranks fourth among Midwestern regionals for the lowest student debt incurred, and it has been recognized for its work with nontraditional students,” Dufrene said.
“We are doing all we can to boost the attainment rates because that directly relates to the economic development of our region. We had added almost 85 minors and certificates to encourage students to pursue credentials outside their major and enhance their career prospects. We also have experienced growth in online academic offerings, including a 43 percent increase in online credit hours since the fall 2013 semester. More than 20 percent of all credit hours are online. Eighty-five percent of IU Southeast alumni remain in the region, and we’ve received good feedback from alumni about the quality of education we provide.”
Joe Carley, IU director for economic development, provided a preview of the upcoming Education-to-Employment Convergence, or E2E. In the past, the event brought together statewide stakeholders in the realms of education, workforce development and community engagement.
“The 2019 E2E event will be IU-focused, and there will be a national overview of leading university talent initiatives,” Carley said. “It will be a small event but also very interactive as we examine how IU is doing on workforce-development initiatives.”
David Gard, IU assistant vice president for economic engagement, led a discussion about the STEP Grant program, or Sustaining Talent, Engaging Partners. Gard said the program is a key outgrowth of the E2E program that involves all of IU’s regional campuses. It focuses on building sustainable approaches to strengthen career connections and pathways for students with employer partners. Updates about STEP Grant programs included:
- IU Northwest is developing an experiential learning model to provide a pathway for students to disseminate to other departments through internships or other learning projects.
- IU Kokomo is organizing a trip to Fiat Chrysler during spring break for students who are interested in advanced manufacturing and the opportunities available within the state.
- IU Southeast is holding career development panels on campus so companies can discuss internships and other opportunities with students. IU Southeast also has been scheduling tours to different companies.
Four applications for RED, or Regional Economic Development, funds were approved:
- A joint effort between IU Bloomington and IU Research and Technology Corp. received an award of $2,500 for “Wearables and the Internet of Things Symposium.” The Indiana University School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering — in close collaboration with Innovate Indiana, the IURTC, The Mill, and the Indiana IoT Lab — will host academic and industrial experts to discuss “Wearables and the Internet of Things” April 25-26.
- IU Kokomo received a $2,500 award for “LEAD Conference hosted by Women in Business Student Association.” The LEAD Conference will welcome a host of talented and educated professionals, most of whom will be women, to share insights on developing leadership skills, navigating a successful career path and a host of other topics to cultivate professional development and business acumen.
- IU Kokomo also received a $2,500 award for “Professional Student Wardrobe.” Many students say they do not have access to the appropriate clothing and accessories needed for professional networking events, internships and job interviews. This need is primarily due to the high cost of the clothing and financial constraints experienced by many college students. The wardrobe will serve as valuable resource dedicated to helping IU Kokomo students succeed in their daily and professional lives.
- IU Northwest received a $2,200 award for “Bringing For-profit Marketing Techniques to Nonprofits: Helping Nonprofits in Northwest Indiana Develop a Cost-Effective Marketing Plan.” The Center for Urban and Regional Excellence proposes to organize two training workshops on how nonprofits in Northwest Indiana can develop a cost-effective marketing plan.
The meeting concluded with a tour of the Indiana IoT Lab – Fishers complex. Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness and Indiana IoT Lab -Fishers Founder and CEO John Wechsler spoke with attendees about the emergence of the lab and its impact on local and statewide business.
“When the IoT Lab and Launch Fishers began, the focus was on Fishers only and the entrepreneurial activities of the community,” Mayor Fadness said. “Since the launch, John and I have traveled to 60 manufacturing and distribution centers in all four corners of the state to ask how technology will play into where they are going in the future. It’s clear the IoT Lab is on the front lines of showing others in the state that there are companies that want to invest in the community.”
The next CREED meeting is scheduled for May 22 in Indianapolis.