NSWC Crane’s Midwest Tech Bridge and IN3 Extend Partnership to Speed Technology to the Warfighter

May 20, 2021

CRANE, Ind. (May 20, 2021) – NWSC Crane has extended a Collaborative Project Order to manage the NavalX Midwest Tech Bridge for a second year to the Indiana Innovation Institute (IN3) to foster collaboration among universities, industry, small businesses and non-profits with the ultimate goal of more quickly putting technology into the hands of warfighters in myriad areas that include trusted microelectronics, hypersonics and electro-optics.

The agreement extends a partnership in which IN3 provided support for the Tech Bridge mission in 2020 after NSWC Crane in 2019 was selected as one of six national NavalX Tech Bridge sites to improve collaboration and agility throughout the U.S. Department of the Navy.

Anne Fields, Midwest Tech Bridge regional director, said this award continues a valuable collaboration that engages partners in the innovation ecosystem.

“The Midwest Tech Bridge encompasses a vibrant innovation ecosystem aligned to Navy and Marine Corps interests, and our work with IN3 helps ensure that we can strengthen and expand that ecosystem by sharpening our focus and creating an environment that encourages and supports external collaborations,” Fields said. “We look forward to continuing our work with IN3 to increase access and leverage efforts across the region to quickly create and deploy the technology needed by our warfighters.”

IN3 partners with Midwest Tech Bridge in a number of ways, such as organizing events like tech demonstrations, prize challenges, hackathons, and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) opportunities. IN3 also will be facilitating engagement with local Navy and Department of Defense (DoD) partners, industry and academia at its innovation space located off-base at the WestGate Academy Conference and Training Center in Odon, Ind.

“Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, in our first year we saw significant growth in the number of industry, academic and government partners, which equates to more opportunities to support the Navy by matching the expertise that exists regionally and statewide to the technology needs that align to the Navy’s critical missions,” said Stephen Kelly, president and CEO of IN3. “We look forward to the opportunity to expand those successes by building on the collaborative base we have built over the past year.”

In 2020, 12 Tech Bridge events led to nearly 2,000 connections among existing and potential partners in industry, academia and government. There were also nearly 1,000 engagements with Tech Bridge video posts on social media.

Because of the pandemic, events last year that were initially planned as in-person sessions intended to be held throughout Indiana were changed to virtual events. This provided the unintended benefit of allowing broader participation from across Indiana, the United States and Europe. To build upon that framework, IN3 anticipates that events this year will be in-person and virtual or “hybrid” events to facilitate broader participation.

Under the award, IN3 will continue to provide support to the Midwest Tech Bridge in five broad areas: ecosystem development and events; an ecosystem toolbox; collaboration space; a technology solution pipeline; and portfolio management and commercialization development.

About IN3

IN3 (Indiana Innovation Institute) works with academia, industry, and government to create a hub of national security innovation that helps solve critical defense priorities. IN3 connects regional, state and national partners through a variety of means including convening research and business teams to solve emerging technical challenges for the U.S. Department of Defense. IN3 is focused on hypersonics, cyber-physical systems, trusted microelectronics and artificial intelligence. Learn more at www.ari-tech.org and follow us on Twitter @IN3indiana and LinkedIn

About NSWC Crane

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission 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 to today’s Warfighter.