IN3 Sees Big Defense Industry Upside

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The chief executive officer of the Indiana Innovation Institute says his organization is an "enabler" for economic growth that can help the state tap into lucrative opportunities with the U.S. Department of Defense. General Gene Renuart, who retired from the U.S. Air Force as commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado, says billions of dollars of potential federal defense contracts for the private and public sectors are at stake and Indiana is in a position to capitalize. During an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Renuart said the DOD is committing about $10 billion over the next five years into research and development of trusted and assured microelectronic technology, an area IN3 is already exploring.

IN3 recently opened a new collaboration space at the WestGate@Crane Technology Park in Odon, which Renuart says can join together players in the defense, education and business worlds. "It's allowing us to bring (Naval Support Activity) Crane researchers outside the fence to meet with both university and industry researchers from across the state and in the region and collaborate on some challenges that the department has, but they really need access into the universities," he said. "We've got great space there -- about 9,500-square-feet as we build this out -- and it's really going to help us create some test facilities that don't exist today."

Renuart also discussed a new initiative that also plays to its industry-connecting mission called the INdiana Consortium for Advanced Technology Transition, which will tackle complex technical challenges in fields such as microelectronics, hypersonics and electronic warfare. He said "whether it's a small startup or traditional defense contractor, bring them together to brainstorm through some ideas and figure out how do we approach some of the tough problems that the department has." IN3, Renuart says, has existing partnerships with Indiana University, Purdue University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Southern Indiana and Trine University.

You can connect to more about the Indiana Innovation Institute by clicking here.

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