A nearly $40 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. will cover what the Northwest Central Indiana Community Partnership Inc. says will be a "global epicenter for agriculture and next-generation manufacturing" using Internet of Things technology. The Wabash Heartland Innovation Network, says board chair Gary Henriott, will collaborate with stakeholders throughout the 10-county region, including Purdue University, Ivy Tech Community College and AgriNovus Indiana.
Work is expected to begin in 2018 and the funding will cover the effort for five years. The focus on IoT is a result of a 2016 strategic planning initiative led by the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice. Leaders say WHIN will involve "seeding projects throughout the region that will bring the expertise of Purdue and Ivy Tech to regional fields and factories."
It will also include the development of "testbeds" for IoT applications in ag and manufacturing though partnerships with Purdue and Ivy Tech, setting up training centers for students and existing workers on IoT, supporting Purdue’s Birck Nanotechnology Center, setting up a regional funding initiative for charitable, educational or scientific programs and launching a Regional Cultivation Fund for collaboration among community foundations on place-making improvements in and around the 10-county region.
The counties involved include: Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Pulaski, Tippecanoe, Warren and White.
We will have more on this in our INside Edge e-newsletter.