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NSWC Crane Innovation Event Shines National Spotlight On Indiana
Updated October 11, 2016 7:34 AM
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(CRANE) - Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) will host the inaugural "Innovation Crossover: The Shape of Things to Come" conference on October 12-13 at the Bloomington Convention Center.

The event is designed to foster collaboration on mutual technology challenges and regional economic growth.

The groundbreaking conference brings together defense, industry and academia in an unprecedented forum to accelerate an innovation ecosystem across the state and region.

"It really is a first of its kind application because we're looking at the innovative process in a broad way," said Kyle Werner, NSWC Crane Applied Science Department director. "As you think about Crane, innovation has become part of our identity. It's who we are, it's what we do."

NSWC Crane worked with Indiana University, Purdue University, University of Southern Indiana, Cook Medical, Indiana Office of Defense Development and Radius Indiana to craft the vision for the event, a process that began 18 months ago.

"This is a unique opportunity to learn firsthand some of the technological advances under consideration and to explore how they can apply their expertise to some of these new opportunities," said Rick Van Kooten, the vice provost for research at Indiana University.

Planning for the collaborative event began in 2014 after a Lilly Endowment funded report by Battelle Technology Partnership Practice identified four different technology clusters with the greatest potential for growth and advancement including Department of Defense Technologies, Advanced Manufacturing, IT/Cyber and Life Sciences/Biomedical. Another outgrowth of the report was the establishment of the Applied Research Institute (ARI) to take advantage of emerging synergies between research universities and NSWC Crane. The information that results from the Innovation Crossover event will enable ARI to develop a collaborative applied research environment in Southwest Central Indiana.

Organizers hope it will speed the development of collaborative relationships, public-private partnerships, and infrastructure to deliver advanced capabilities for the targeted cluster areas.

"Our region is ripe with the talent and potential to spark a wave of entrepreneurialism and innovation," said Becky Skillman, Radius' Senior Advisor. "Through this event we want to see the area's ability to foster tech-based economic development come to the forefront."

Participants will hear from a wide array of prominent keynote speakers during the two-day event, including the Office of the Lt. Governor, Dr. Chris Fall, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Brad Wheeler, Indiana University's vice president for IT and chief information officer, and Dr. Walter Jones, Office of Naval Research.

"There's really been a recognized call for innovation across the Department of Defense leadership as well as the Executive Branch of the government," Werner said. "We have an opportunity for national relevance and national connectivity to what we're working toward."

"The attendees should expect to see the current state of research within the identified technical areas, and be part of an interactive and cooperative idea generation and innovation discovery process that results in the potential for future investment opportunities" Werner said.

Limited seats are still available for the conference.

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with focus areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi-spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability, all which provide a decisive advantage for our warfighters.

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