CRANE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division is extending its partnership with the Indiana Innovation Institute (IN3) to manage the NavalX Midwest Tech Bridge. The Collaborative Project Order, which will be in effect for another year, is designed to foster collaboration among universities, industry, small businesses and nonprofits to accelerate technology development.
The partnership was first formed in January 2020, just months after NSWC Crane was selected as one of several NavalX Tech Bridge sites. The tech bridges were established as regional hubs to connect U.S. Navy resources with small businesses and entrepreneurs.
“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,” Anne Fields, Midwest Tech Bridge regional director, said in a news release. “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 says it has helped the Midwest Tech Bridge in various ways, including organization tech demonstrations, prize challenges, hackathons and Small Business Innovation Research opportunities. The institute says it will continue to facilitate engagement with local Navy and Department of Defense partners, industry and academia.
“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, chief executive officer 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.”
As part of the extended Collaborative Project Order, IN3 says it will continue to provide support in five main areas: ecosystem development and events; an ecosystem toolbox; collaboration space; a technology solution pipeline; and portfolio management and commercialization development.