Organizers of the new Indiana IoT Lab-Fishers say the facility will operate at the intersection of Indiana’s historically-strong manufacturing industry and growing tech sector. The nearly 25,000 square-foot facility, located in the city’s certified tech park, aims to encourage innovation and collaboration within the Internet of Things industry. Launch Fishers founder John Wechsler, who will lead the lab, says in 20 years, every product will be connected in some way, and there is no reason Indiana shouldn’t lead that charge.
The lab will include founding members ClearObject and Indiana University. ClearObject, formerly CloudOne, will use the facility as its second location and Chief Executive Officer John McDonald says the company plans to grow its employee base by 15 percent this year, with the potential for further growth beyond.
"Internet of Things is about making the next generation of our products that we make in this state," McDonald tells Inside INdiana Business. "What this represents is the next several generations of jobs for those sectors of our economy that have taken us this far in the world and need to take us into the future."
Companies will have the opportunities to become members and set up temporary or permanent residence in the facility. Non-member companies will also have the chance to bring their IoT questions to the lab for members to solve.
The city says IoT Lab-Fishers will seek to bring together the four key components of the Internet of Things: ideation, cloud data, edge hardware and development. Fadness calls the facility a "natural progression" for the growing entrepreneurial community.
"We believe passionately that this is going to provide economic opportunity for Hoosiers for years to come," said Fadness. "Ultimately what we want to see happen is to create a place where we can aggregate the skill sets around the technological advancements in the Internet of Things and ultimately what we want to do is convince some of the pillars of industry that we already have in Indiana to start using some of the services that are right here in Indiana and by doing so, we start to create more jobs, more economic gain in our state rather than that money going to the east or west coast."
The IoT Lab-Fishers is scheduled to open this summer. Wechsler says the facility will be a "sandbox for discovery and development."
"While this is the first IoT Lab in the state, our hope is that it is not the last," said Wechsler. "We have incredible universities, talent and entrepreneurs in Indiana. With these ingredients, the Indiana IoT Lab concept has the potential to unlock a new sector in Indiana."