Tag: department of defense

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 Responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic

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

Naval Support Activity Crane has responded to local and national COVID-19-related needs in unprecedented ways by joining efforts to fight the virus, boost the economy, and assist community members in need. Radius Indiana is proud of NSA Crane’s efforts to support the needs of COVID-19 in our region.

The work at NSA Crane remains imperative for supporting service members around the globe, and mission-critical activities are continuing so that the base can continue to help maintain military readiness. The following efforts are just some of the ways the base is working to maintain operations and support our region.


Keeping employees safe while preserving national security

NSA Crane employs thousands of Hoosiers, and due to the nature of their jobs, many employees are teleworking, and many are still required to come in to work at the installation. In order to protect these essential workers, officials at NSA Crane have taken a number of precautions. Many employees are now working staggered shifts, all individuals are required to wear face coverings, and if any employees test positive for the virus, they will be placed on a type of administrative leave that won’t negatively affect their employment. 


Supporting the Red Cross during a severe, statewide blood shortage

Team Crane completed a successful blood drive in March, with employees providing 232 units of blood while maintaining social distancing procedures. Crane employees who are teleworking commuted onsite just to donate blood during the drive. Public health concerns have caused many blood drives at schools and local businesses to close, making the donations from Crane employees critical to helping save patient lives across the county. 


Continuing to provide STEM programming to local students

The NSWC Crane Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Program has responded to community needs by putting their programming in a virtual format to continue to provide educational opportunities for students. The program usually provides hands-on learning opportunities through in-person field trips and events, but adapted the program so students can learn problem-solving skills remotely, without access to the lab. 


Offering patent licenses to encourage new technologies

Officials at NSWC Crane are offering the laboratory’s patent portfolio of technologies at a reduced cost to lessen the severity of the new coronavirus outbreak and shorten economic recovery. The Technology Transfer Office at NSWC Crane is authorized to negotiate royalty-free patent license agreements with businesses that would use any of its 300+ patented technologies. The lab’s leaders hope that businesses and entrepreneurs will use these technologies to protect American lives during the COVID-19 pandemic and support new jobs and economic growth. 


Building capacity at facilities in need

Navy Lt. Miranda L. Bassett, a construction manager for the NSA Crane Public Works Department, deployed to Chicago to help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers convert spaces into alternate care facilities to provide additional capacity for possible COVID-19 surges, alleviating the strain on area hospitals. Bassett is among a select group of engineers, health care workers and emergency responders going into hot zones to help. 


Producing critical materials to support supply chains

Several of the Army’s depots, arsenals and ammunition plants, including Crane Army Ammunition Activity, are assisting in the response to COVID-19. Crane Army is repurposing raw materials to produce and distribute hand sanitizer. Within days, they designed and assembled a sanitizer manufacturing line drawing on their expertise in munitions production. The line has proven successful and is ready for full-rate production, allowing Crane Army to help protect workers while also supporting an overburdened supply system to get a critical product into the hands of the professionals that need it.