Category: Blog

DoD award launches microelectronics hub, builds on southern Indiana semiconductor momentum

By: Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community Support for Radius Indiana

The Department of Defense (DoD), through the WestGate Technology Park based National Security Technology Accelerator Other Transaction Agreement managed by Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Crane Division, has established a national network of microelectronic prototyping innovation Hubs. These newly created eight Hubs led by seven different states will provide a direct pathway to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign microelectronics and safeguard the nation from supply chain risks by accelerating domestic prototyping and growing a pipeline of U.S.-based semiconductor talent.

Last month, the DoD announced its first award of nearly $240 million under the CHIPS and Science Act to support this network of eight regional Microelectronics Commons innovation Hubs across the United States.

Governor Eric Holcomb commented on the announcement, sharing “(NSWC) plays a significant role in the DoD’s microelectronics strategy to build American dominance in microelectronics production and development.” He also added that it “builds on the Midwest’s strengths in research and development as well as workforce training at all levels, to build a domestic
semiconductor industry, a national security imperative to keep our nation ahead of our adversaries.”

The Silicon Crossroads Hub, led by Bloomington-based Applied Research Institute (ARI), is the largest consortium with 130 members and was initially awarded $32.9 million to help spur development of domestic production of microelectronics, semiconductor manufacturing and other advanced technologies.

ARI expressed in a written statement, “It is an honor for ARI to be designated as the largest member consortium in the official Microelectronics Commons Hub announcement this morning. The Silicon Crossroads Hub will continue to build upon the collaboration between our members across Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan within all six focused technology areas.”

With this announcement, the Hubs will be supporting prototyping capabilities for six technical areas (Secure Edge/Internet-of-Things Computing, Quantum Technology, 5G/6G Technology, Electromagnetic Warfare, Artificial Intelligence Hardware, and Commercial Leap-Ahead Technologies), effectively bridging the gap from lab to fabrication.

Comprised of a diverse set of partners in the private sector, the not-for-profit sector, and academia, the Microelectronics Commons has garnered rapid nationwide support and engagement. The inauguration of these Hubs will not only spur economic growth but ensure our region and nation maintains the necessary talent pool to keep us at the forefront of innovation. This major announcement and initiative partnered with the additional microelectronics campus news earlier this year highlights our southern Indiana region’s growth, momentum and overall impact to national defense.

NSA Crane Welcomes Three New Leaders in Change of Command Ceremonies

By: Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community Support for Radius Indiana


Earlier this summer, Naval Support Activity Crane (NSA Crane) and Crane Army Ammunition Activity (CAAA) welcomed two new commanding officers to southern Indiana.

The new leaders were welcomed through a change of command ceremony, a tradition that symbolizes a peaceful military transition of power and recognizes the outgoing commander’s accomplishments while welcoming the incoming commander to the organization.

Commander Luis Martinez was sworn into the position for NSA Crane this past June. Martinez graduated from the Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and was designated a naval flight officer in July 2010. Martinez has logged over 1,300 E-2 aircraft flight hours and his personal awards include the Strike Flight Air Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and multiple unit and service awards.

Colonel Franyate D. Taylor became the 21st commander of CAAA in July. Taylor began her Army career as an enlisted soldier in 1991 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the Ordnance Corps from Officers Candidate School in 1999. Taylor’s most recent assignment was in Battle Creek, Michigan, where she served as the Deputy Director for Defense Logistics Agency, Disposition.

Like the leaders before them, Martinez and Taylor are learning to balance the future for their organizations while acquainting themselves with the work that was completed before them. While they are adjusting to the new role, both commanders are also tasked with gaining the trust and support of those around them. The leadership teams, stakeholders and communities involved with Crane will also be adapting to the new leadership styles and expectations.

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) will also undergo a change in command August 16 as Capt. Duncan McKay will exit the leadership role after spending the last three years in southern Indiana. His replacement, Capt. Rex Boonyobhas is currently serving at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

Today, Team Crane’s civilian and contractor workforce stands 6,000 strong. NSA Crane continues to grow as the base’s missions evolve. NSA Crane has shared its intent to expand its community partnerships under a Future Base Design initiative that is designed to bring increased optimization, mission support efficiencies, and stronger ties to the community and services available outside the gate. More than $150 million in construction projects and infrastructure improvements are currently underway on the installation including the CAAA rail holding yard and NSWC Crane’s strategic radiation testing modernization facility. We at Radius are looking forward to the completion of these plans and will continue to look for new ways to grow our community relationships.

New State Legislation Benefits Military Spouses and Defense Communities

By: Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community Support for Radius Indiana


Indiana lawmakers wrapped up the 2023 legislative session in late April, approving 252 bills. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Next Level Agenda focused on several major funding increases in the state budget, including education, public health and safety, and community development.

In addition, under Gov. Holcomb’s leadership, Indiana is advancing a more collaborative, strategic approach to growing and enhancing its defense industry. Indiana is strengthening its efforts to increase the state’s competitiveness in the defense economy. Two Senate Bills and two House Bills affecting the military bases and military families were passed this spring and will improve Indiana’s defense environment.

Senate Bill 332 deals with planning and zoning that affects military bases. This bill allows a unit to establish a military impact zoning district for an area adversely impacted by the effects of military operations, and will make planning, zoning, and development activity in these areas subject to the military installation commander’s determination regarding the activity’s impact on military operations. This bill covers the majority of the state’s action items identified in the 2017 NSA Crane Joint Land Use study. In essence, the local communities have been doing this, and now it’s codified by state law. 

Senate Bill 477 limits threats to critical infrastructure. Starting June 30, 2023, a prohibited person may not purchase, lease, or acquire a parcel of real property that is directly adjacent to a military installation. This helps protect NSA Crane from a foreign company spying on activities on base. This concept of foreign direct investment adjacent to military bases is a significant national security issue and this Senate bill will help prevent such threats.

On the House side, House Bill 1555 focuses on occupational licenses for those in military families. This bill provides that a military service applicant who has held an occupational license, certification, registration, or permit in another jurisdiction for at least one year may qualify for an Indiana license, removing the requirement that an applicant must have had a license for at least two of the five years preceding the date of the application. This eases the burden on military families as they move across the country every two to three years. This is an issue the military tracks across all states, and allows Indiana to become more welcoming to those individuals by eliminating barriers. 

House Bill 1034 exempts Hoosier military members from paying state income taxes starting July 1, 2023. The final draft of the measure signed by Gov. Holcomb increases the active duty military income tax deduction from its current $5,000 cap to a full exemption, which follows a 2019 law allowing all retired military income to be tax-exempt.

Radius Indiana, the White River Military Coordination Alliance and Crane Regional Defense Group worked closely with Indiana Representatives and community partners on the creation of these bills and we commend our leaders for recognizing the importance of the defense industry in our state.

Crane Regional Defense Group hosts first Connect to Mission event

By: Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community Support for Radius Indiana


Naval Support Activity (NSA) Crane and its Tenant Commands are dedicated to meeting the needs of the warfighter in defense of our nation. Serving this mission has made NSA Crane and tenants a modern leader in diverse and technical products. One of the bases’ priorities is to provide opportunities for academia and defense industry peers to connect and hear from the base.

Crane Regional Defense Group (CRDG) hosted Connect to Mission in February at the WestGate Academy. The half-day event brought together nearly 200 current members from academic institutions and defense industry representing more than 100 businesses (small, large, and non-traditional) from 18 different states. This is planned to be an ongoing series to continuously highlight the different missions at NSA Crane and provide insight and understanding into the needs of their mission areas, challenges, and opportunities for collaboration.

The February event featured Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC Crane), Crane Division’s Spectrum Warfare Systems Department, which houses the Department of Defense’s largest concentration of Electronic Warfare expertise, with more than one thousand civilian workers and 250 contractors. The department leads NSWC efforts in a wide variety of applied research, engineering, logistics, and maintenance support services for complex Electronic Warfare Systems and Infrared Countermeasures. 

The agenda included three interactive panel discussions, networking opportunities, and remarks from NSWC leadership. Division managers, chief strategists and engineers, contracting officers, and more covered topics from how to earn a contract, to how the divisions are assisting the warfighter today, and how attendees could position themselves to join their mission. 

CRDG’s second Connect to Mission will be held Tuesday, June 6, and feature NSWC Crane’s Global Deterrence and Defense Department, which leads NSWC efforts in a wide variety of applied research, engineering, logistics, and maintenance support services for complex 

Strategic System Programs, Microelectronic Technologies and the recently added Joint Hypersonic Transition Office.

When threats to our nation increase, so does the demand for Team Crane products and services. CRDG is poised to facilitate further collaboration between the base, academia and industry to meet the increased, modern-day needs of the warfighter. 

To learn more about the Crane Regional Defense Group or view upcoming events, visit their website at 

Microelectronics investment landing in Radius region

By: Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community Support for Radius Indiana


Our region is home to Naval Support Activity Crane, the third largest naval installation in the world, making defense a huge economic driver for Southern Indiana. We at Radius work with others outside the installation’s gates to assist with growing the region’s defense ecosystem and connecting Crane with community, regional, and state leadership. These collective efforts are made possible by the strong national leadership in various technologies and missions at Crane.  Radius is dedicated to the installation preservation as well as investment in new projects and opportunities that arise to support the base.

One of the newest and largest projects includes an $84 million advanced microchip development and manufacturing operation that will open in Daviess County. WestGate One, a combined effort of NHanced Semiconductors, Everspin Technologies, Trusted Semiconductor Solutions, and Reliable MicroSystems, will be located in the WestGate@Crane Technology Park just outside of the NSA Crane gate near Odon.

This campus is the kind of development that local government and economic development leaders devote their careers to securing. It is expected to add 549 high-paying jobs between 2024 and 2028. The new, specialized jobs will be critical in advancing American-made microelectronics verification, validation, and production of critical microelectronics components in the U.S. 

Based on a project assessment analysis of WestGate One from Radius Indiana, NHanced is expected to generate over $3 million in local income tax revenue over 10 years. In addition to the jobs created directly at the semiconductor campus, there will be additional supplier and consumer-business jobs created by the presence of the NHanced employment, increasing the total employment impact to 858 total local jobs created.

The growth expected at this campus has validated the creation of a new organization to lead the physical development of WestGate as outlined in its 2021 Master Plan. The Uplands Science and Technology Foundation (USTF), a non-profit research foundation dedicated to enhancing the vitality of the tech park, is a new organization that will work to grow the park’s capabilities in emerging technology areas such as microelectronics, artificial intelligence, and hypersonics.

The Crane Regional Defense Group hosted USTF for its Key Leader Series event February 3 at WestGate, bringing together public and private sectors to learn more about the tech park’s mission and goals. The partnership between organizations such as Radius, CRDG, USTF and many others is vital in the continued success of developments like the microelectronics project above. 

Radius Indiana is excited about the growth at WestGate, specifically in the microelectronics and semiconductor space, and continues to curate other opportunities for investment. 

Team Crane shares strategic plans and goals with community partners

By: Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community Support for Radius Indiana


Naval Support Activity (NSA) Crane delivered its annual State of the Installation address at the White River Military Coordination Alliance’s quarterly meeting and Crane Regional Defense Group’s Key Leader Series forum this past month. NSA Commander, Commander James Smith briefed the groups on successes over the past year, ongoing initiatives and workforce needs, and upcoming projects including a future base master plan.

Leaders from NSA Crane have delivered this address to the Alliance since its inauguration in 2018, and this was the first time Team Crane presented this information to an unrestricted audience during the CRDG Key Leader Series. The Alliance, which includes state and local government officials, regional and local economic development officials, and Crane representatives, was formed to strengthen the relationship between NSA Crane and the surrounding communities and is the parent organization to CRDG.

The annual State of the Installation address provides an opportunity for Team Crane to share its strategic goals and any operational changes or proposed construction projects that may impact the Alliance membership. 

Cmdr. Smith delivered his third address, noting the following key updates and opportunities for community collaboration:

  • Future mission growth and planning: NSA Crane will update its Installation Development Plan (Master Plan) in 2023, and Crane Army Ammunition Activity and Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane are also participating in strategic planning processes for modernization, mission growth, and future base design, respectively.
  • Improvements and infrastructure: More than $150 million in construction projects and infrastructure improvements are currently underway on the installation. 
  • Recruitment and job trends: Through increased involvement at career fairs both virtually and in-person, social media postings, direct hiring authorities and engagement with direct commands, installation employment is expected to grow 3 to 5 percent over the next five years. NSWC Crane has hired over 950 individuals over the last three years, which represents the largest number seen since the 1980s.
  • Opportunities for educational collaboration: Team Crane identified opportunities to continue to explore educational partnerships with state institutions that will build a strong talent pipeline to fill jobs, including Indiana University, Purdue University, Ivy Tech Community College, and Vincennes University.

As one of the largest employers in Southern Indiana, Crane plays an important role in the economies of our communities. Continued collaboration is key to building a strong relationship between community leaders and the public with those working inside the gates at Crane to make the most of opportunities that benefit our region.


IEDC visits our Region for talent attraction update

By: Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community Support for Radius Indiana


Talent attraction and workforce development are two of the most important aspects of economic development. Talent attraction focuses on recruitment from the talent pipeline outside of a given community, while workforce development aims to further an individual’s ability to grow their skills and develop the tools they need for business success in their community. Radius Indiana has implemented several initiatives over the last few years to bring new employees into the workforce as well as retain skilled employees to continue working in our eight-county region. 

Earlier this month, Radius had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion with  Tony Denhart, executive vice president of talent and workforce for the Indiana Economic  Development Corporation (IEDC), to introduce him to the initiatives and programs taking place throughout the region. Denhart joined IEDC in January of this year and this trip served as his formal introduction to our part of the state. 

Denhart had the opportunity to meet with several organizations on his visit, including Regional  Opportunity Initiatives, representatives from WestGate@Crane Technology Park, and Naval  Surface Warfare Center-Crane Division as well as several defense contractors. Conversations  included learning about the Uplands Science and Technology Foundation (USTF), a nonprofit  research foundation dedicated to enhancing the vitality of WestGate@Crane Technology Park  and its recently-completed Master Plan. 

Each organization had the opportunity to share its talent and workforce efforts or its needs for talent. Radius discussed its four major ongoing talent and workforce attraction projects with  Denhart: Choose Southern Indiana; Veteran Recruitment- Digital Campaigns; Veteran  Recruitment- Hiring Program; and Catapult.  

Choose Southern Indiana offers a $5,000 relocation incentive to qualified out-of-state individuals  or families who relocate to the region. Such incentive programs are being increasingly used by  states and communities throughout the country to attract talent.  

Radius utilizes a series of social media and digital marketing campaigns to recruit military  veterans and retirees to move from outside Indiana to join the local population and workforce.  To complement the success of the digital campaign veteran recruitment strategies, Radius was  given funding from the State of Indiana for the purpose of attracting and retaining veterans from  outside of the eight-county region to grow the available workforce with unique skills and talents.  Radius became engaged in distributing veteran resumes across the private defense sector  industries. 

The Catapult program provides training to help individuals become skilled and educated in  modern manufacturing production based on employee training programs developed in  Japanese auto assembly plants in Indiana. 

Radius is one of the region’s leaders in workforce and talent attraction, and we thank Tony  Denhart for visiting our region and learning about our programs and initiatives.

Entrepreneurs and start-ups invited to participate in southern Indiana pitch competition

By: Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community Support for Radius Indiana


Pitch competitions serve as an opportunity for entrepreneurs and start-ups to showcase their business idea in hopes of winning funding for their presentation. Organizations in our region have come together to offer a competition that will help spur innovation and business growth. 

This month, Radius Indiana, in coordination with Elevate Ventures, the Indiana Small Business Development Center, Indiana Innovation Institute, the Mill, and Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, will host its third annual virtual pitch competition for entrepreneurs, inventors and start-ups focused on patented technologies and intellectual property (IP) developed at Crane –  and the best news – it is royalty-free and no cost to enter.

Radius Indiana created the “Crane IP Defense Innovation Pitch Competition” after learning of NSWC Crane’s Rapid Response Licensing Program, which launched in spring 2020 in response to COVID-19. The Technology Transfer (T2) Program at NSWC Crane opened its portfolio of 300+ patented technologies to entrepreneurs to help rapidly transition federal research and development into the commercial sector and to help stimulate the economy – this is an unprecedented opportunity!

Engineers and scientists at NSWC Crane, Indiana’s only federal research laboratory, continually create technical solutions to solve problems faced by the men and women protecting our nation, but many of these also can apply to the commercial needs of the public sector. The Crane IP Defense Innovation Pitch Competition provides a venue to develop a practical application of technology to create a new commercial product, or launch a new business that can grow here in our region.

Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to connect with industry leaders from the partner organizations, and cash prizes totaling $12,000 will be available to the top three contestants. Additional prize funds will be available for competitors with locations in the Radius region of southern Indiana. 

The pitch competition is being held in conjunction with PROPELS Accelerator, a Mill program offering instruction on how to commercialize cutting-edge technology developed at NSWC Crane. The six-week program focuses on a full business development plan with support from experts in defense and entrepreneurship. Registrants will participate in a demonstration at the end of the session and are then encouraged to pitch their idea at the Radius Indiana pitch competition.

Radius Indiana encourages you to take advantage of this free opportunity to showcase the talent and bright ideas waiting to be discovered right here in southern Indiana. The deadline for registration to participate is June 17, and the pitch competition will be held in a virtual format on June 28. Visit to register. 

Sustaining the regions Defense and Agriculture Economies

By: Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community Support for Radius Indiana


In February, Indiana was chosen as the newest site for a federal program that will help private landowners and organizations around military bases by providing resources to improve, protect and preserve their land. More than 3.5 million acres in southern Indiana, from Edinburgh to Jasper, and from Madison to Vincennes, are now part of the Southern Indiana Sentinel Landscape.

The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership was established in 2013 through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Defense (DoD), and Department of the Interior (DOI). The purpose of the program is to connect landowners within the landscape boundary to state and federal programs for opportunities that will help them sustainably run their land in ways that also support the military bases near them.

The Southern Indiana Sentinel Landscape is one of 10 in the country and aims to be a win-win initiative for both the military, agriculture and the environment. Naval Support Activity Crane, Atterbury-Muscatatuck Training Center, Indiana Air Range Complex, and Lake Glendora Test Facility all fall within the landscape and will be enhanced by the designation. In addition, this part of the state is home to six state parks, seven state forests, nine state fish and wildlife areas, 39 state-dedicated nature preserves, one national forest, and three national wildlife refuges.

This unique partnership is a great achievement for southern Indiana. Millions of federal dollars and partner resources are expected to target Indiana for this project. Landowners in this part of the state will have access to tools that will not only help better serve Indiana’s military installations but also protect and enhance what they own.

Although the primary objective of the program is to preserve and protect the missions of the included military bases, it will provide opportunities for environmental protection as well. Beside Federal partners, state agencies, such as the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and conservation organizations could increase support for the parks and forests as well as wildlife in the area.

Radius Indiana is a proud partner to the Defense and Agriculture economies. We are grateful to be a part of opportunities that grow our region and support those who live and work here. We look forward to seeing the achievements and accomplishments that grow from this partnership in our part of the state.



Team Crane joins Indiana State Legislation sessions

By: Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community Support for Radius Indiana


The Indiana State Legislature began its 2022 legislative session in January and the Indiana Defense Caucus had the opportunity to hear from the Crane members of the Indiana Commanders Roundtable. These roundtable conversations with the military commanders have proven to be valuable communications between military leaders and the State of Indiana. 

Historically, these sessions have provided the defense community the chance to share information and explore opportunities to strengthen the partnership and appreciate the roles that each installation serves in our nation’s security as well as the economic impact they have on our state.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation Office for Defense Development hosted this unique event to provide the commanders of Indiana’s military assets the opportunity to update the 2022 Defense Caucus on current mission activities and the potential impacts to Indiana.  

For the first time, the Indiana Defense Task Force was invited to participate in the session in order to develop ideas on how the state and local communities can support the commander’s missions. 

CDR James Smith, Commanding Officer, Naval Support Activity Crane, highlighted the installation’s ongoing efforts to engage with the community and state on collaborative initiatives, including energy resiliency, natural resource conservation, and encroachment protections. Other topics included infrastructure modernization and the potential of intergovernmental support agreements to reduce shared costs between state governmental agencies and the Department of Defense.

In addition, leadership from Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane (NSWC Crane) and Crane Army Ammunition Activity  (CAAA) visited Indianapolis. NSWC Crane’s Director of Congressional and Public Affairs Dr. Sandy Zehr debriefed Indiana’s State Legislature’s Defense Caucus on their work directly with warfighters to create comprehensive, innovative solutions at the speed of relevance as a National Technical Leader.

CAAA Commander Col. Santee Vasquez visited the Indiana Statehouse to speak with state legislators on CAAA’s capabilities, how it provides munitions readiness to the U.S. Department of Defense, how it is modernizing its capabilities to meet the needs of the U.S. Army, and to outline current workforce initiatives and industry and academic partnerships. The event was open to all the military commanders from all the services at bases and activities in Indiana.

Team Crane has an unprecedented opportunity to further foster and grow as a Center of Excellence for testing and munitions. We applaud their efforts and participation in the 2022 legislative session and look forward to seeing the progress that will be made as a result of their input.