Tag: NSWC Crane

New citizen-led committee formed to leverage potential of southern Indiana

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

 

Local business, financial, and political leaders recently formed a citizen-led committee to expand support for southern Indiana’s military base and support the region’s economic growth.  

The Crane Regional Defense Group (CDRG) was established in 2020 as a grassroots effort to expand community support and advocate for Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) at the local and federal level. Members work with government, industry and military leaders to accelerate regional economic and community development and accelerate the strategic value of Crane. 

CDRG is a subcommittee of the White River Military Coordination Alliance, a community organization that was formed in 2018 to promote positive development and growth in the areas surrounding NSA Crane. 

Our organization has four main objectives:

  1. To educate and inform the businesses, citizens and governments of the region about the economic and cultural benefits of a strong military presence in the region and the importance of supporting regional infrastructure.
  2. To support the expansion of technical and industrial jobs across the full life cycle in Research, Development, Acquisition, Production, Logistics, Depot, Demilitarization, defense-related opportunities as well as the overall growth and diversity of the defense economy in our region.
  3. To provide leadership to facilitate coordination and build consensus on key projects with various entities who have similar interests in maintaining a healthy and stable community, economy and Department of Defense installations in our area.
  4. To serve as a catalyst to assist other government and private organizations in promoting the Logistics, Depot and Production assets at Crane Army Ammunition Activity and the Science and Technology assets at NSWC Crane and in the larger Indiana Uplands communities.

CRDG began meeting regularly in January 2021. In just six months, the committee has appointed an executive committee, established bylaws and membership guidelines, launched membership recruitment, and planned its inaugural event, the 2021 Key Leader Series. 

CRDG is currently accepting registrations for new members. Organizations that join will have opportunities to influence agenda with local defense and community leadership, receive direct briefings on the activities both inside and outside the NSA Crane gates, network with Crane commands and other government agencies, and participate in yearly events. 

Small and large businesses, and businesses that both are and are not involved in the defense industry are welcome to apply.  

To learn more or apply today, visit https://www.craneregionaldefensegroup.org/

Bloomington-based start-up wins Crane IP Defense Innovation Pitch Competition

BEDFORD, Ind. (June 24, 2021) — A Bloomington-based start-up, Semiring Inc., won first place in the second-annual Crane IP Defense Innovation Pitch Competition on Wednesday, June 23.   

Radius Indiana sponsored the virtual competition in coordination with Elevate Ventures, Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane Division (NSWC Crane), Indiana Innovation Institute (IN3), the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC), and The Mill. Judges included southwestern Indiana defense and economic development industry leaders who had previous experience with pitch competitions and knowledge of NSWC Crane. 

The top three contestants shared cash prizes totaling $7,000. 

  1. Semiring Inc: ($4,000 prize): Semiring pitched the use of Crane technology for data pre-processing with natural language processing, an existing project into which they incorporated Crane technology. The team consisted of six team members and was headed by Dr. Damir Cavar, a cofounder of Semiring and Associate Professor of Computational Linguistics at Indiana University.
  2. Vieaura ($2,00 prize): Vieaura, ran by co-owners Shrikant Yarlagadda and Srini Morampudi and team members Karey Koscevic and Dr. Mohan Tatikonda, focused on Crane technology involving virtual 3D model generation and navigation using opportunistically captured images.
  3. Exocetus Autonomous Systems ($1,000 prize): Exocetus Autonomous Systems, led by Paul Lwin and Joe Turner, directed its pitch on Crane technology to develop a networked buoy underwater communications system.

“After months of uncertainty during the pandemic, fears that we are facing dark and troubled times, this pitch competition was an extremely positive and motivating event and experience,” said Cavar. “The IP coming from Crane and its researchers is amazing, and it was refreshing to see so many people using this unique opportunity to look for ways to make the technologies available to our local and regional communities, as well as the entire nation and world. Such opportunities are essential for so many, and we hope that we can give back to Crane and the Department of Defense in general, as well as to our compatriots.”

Radius Indiana created the royalty-free IP pitch competition as an opportunity for interested businesses, start-ups, and entrepreneurs to take advantage of NSWC Crane’s Rapid Response Licensing Program, which launched last spring in response to COVID-19. The competition offered royalty-free access for those who seek to commercialize patented technologies and concepts developed at NSWC Crane. 

“The participants put together an impressive display of product ideas, and it was amazing to hear ideas and directions to take these patents that haven’t been considered before,” said Annie Bullock-Yoder, NSWC Crane Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Specialist. “We hope that this competition will spark further innovation and support economic growth using Crane’s IP, and we are looking forward to continuing building relationships with all participants from the competition.”

This event was the fourth pitch competition hosted by Radius since 2019. These competitions have included pitch opportunities for high school students, adults, startups, and established businesses or products and ideas. 

“Technology coming out of Crane clearly has commercial applicability, and Radius is honored to serve as a conduit to strengthen the region’s defense ecosystem through this competition,” said Keeley Stingel, vice president of Innovation and Economic Development at Radius. “The diversity of businesses that participated, from companies yet to form to ones that have been established for 50 years, was a testament to the innovation housed here in the Radius region through NSWC Crane.” 

Radius plans to host additional pitch competitions in 2021. More information will be announced in the coming months.

“This pitch competition was an example of an economic development project that creates success stories in multiple ways,” said Radius CEO and President Jeff Quyle. “We are very pleased with all the ways our partners and participants have benefited from the event.”

To view NSWC Crane’s entire IP portfolio, please visit www.techlinkcenter.org.

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About Radius Indiana: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

About NSWC Crane: NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today’s Warfighter.

About Elevate Ventures: Elevate Ventures is a private venture development organization that nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-growth businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. Elevate Ventures accomplishes this by providing access to capital, rigorous business analysis and robust advisory services that connect companies with the right mix of resources businesses need to succeed long term. To learn more about Elevate Ventures, visit elevateventures.com.

About Indiana Small Business Development Center: The Indiana SBDC creates a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth, and sustainability of Indiana’s small businesses by providing entrepreneurs expert guidance and a comprehensive network of resources.

About Indiana Innovation Institute: IN3 (Indiana Innovation Institute) works with academia, industry, and government to create a hub of national security innovation that helps solve critical defense priorities. IN3 connects regional, state and national partners through a variety of means including convening research and business teams to solve emerging technical challenges for the U.S. Department of Defense. IN3 is focused on hypersonics, cyber-physical systems, trusted microelectronics and artificial intelligence. Learn more at www.in3indiana.com.

About The Mill: The Mill is the heart of southern Indiana’s startup ecosystem and its largest coworking space. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit center for entrepreneurship in Bloomington, funded by membership and event space fees, as well as by generous donations from corporate sponsors and angel investors from south-central Indiana.

Indiana Defense Task Force combats potential losses of military assets

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

 

Indiana’s well-established military presence includes commands at Naval Support Activity Crane, the Grissom Air Reserve Base, and a distinguished state national guard with six critical assets. These commands support 14,000 soldiers and airmen, who are located in 52 counties across the state. The Base Realignment & Closure (BRAC) process was implemented in 1988, and the Department of Defense (DoD) repeatedly reduced its investment in Indiana’s military assets as part of that process. 

The Pentagon dollars that increased over the last four years could soon be harder to obtain. Many politicians are calling for a return of fiscal conservatism, and the Treasury will feel the full impact of COVID-19, both the stimulus and its cuts to paychecks and income taxes soon. 

In light of cuts to the Pentagon, potentially 10 percent or more in future years, defense communities should plan for various scenarios. Impacts from a defense budget reduction could include: 

  • Any military program not in existence prior to the previous administration will be subject to close review and re-justification. The number of aircraft to be purchased will be reduced, lot buys pushed out, recapitalization delayed, satellite constellations deferred, and ship keel-laying slowed because of budgetary pressure and/or shifts in defense prioritization. 
  • State-of-the-art technology pursuits like hypersonic weapons, autonomous combat vehicles, and artificial intelligence will be hampered. Legacy programs will be retired, while new acquisitions with lesser effect on service requirements will be canceled. 
  • When the Pentagon sees these types of budget cuts, military leaders typically ask for another round of the BRAC, a nonpartisan process that shutters military bases and consolidates missions to save money and increase military value. The last time the Pentagon closed bases was 2005, and other states came out as winners. 

The state must make a significant effort to avoid additional significant losses of our military assets. In 2019, the Indiana State Legislature established the Indiana Defense Task Force to accomplish the following tasks for Indiana’s military bases: 

  • Identify the public infrastructure and other community support necessary to improve mission efficiencies and for development and expansion; 
  • Identify existing and potential impacts of encroachment; 
  • Identify potential state and local government actions that can minimize the impacts of encroachment and enhance the long-term potential; and
  • Identify opportunities for collaboration among the state, including the military department of the state, political subdivisions, military contractors; and academic institutions to maintain and expand the missions. 

This move by our legislatures recognized changes that could occur in the future defense landscape. We applaud the Indiana State legislature for recognizing that the coalition that fights for Indiana’s military assets must grow, and grow stronger. 

NSWC Crane names first-ever female technical director

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

 

Dr. Angie Lewis has been named the new technical director for Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane), becoming the first woman to be selected for the position. 

Lewis will act as the senior civilian at NSWC Crane, working with her team to ensure a mission-ready environment for the command’s operations. NSWC Crane has more than 3,800 military and civilian employees, providing the Navy with acquisition engineering, in-service engineering, and technical support for sensors, electronics, electronic warfare, and special warfare weapons.

Lewis began her career at NSWC Crane in 1990, and previously served as the Center’s Business Director. Prior to that position, she was the command’s first female Chief of Staff. In 2015, she won a Torchbearer Award from the Indiana Commission for Women, which is presented to women who have stepped forward as leaders by breaking down barriers and overcoming obstacles.  

Lewis sets an example for young women who want to seek careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) industries. According to a 2018 study by the National Science Foundation, women remain underrepresented in STEM-related fields. Women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, but account for only 28 percent of the science and engineering workforce. In this prestigious position, Lewis will continue to serve as representation for women, and inspire more women to get involved in traditionally male-dominated fields. 

NSWC Crane is an advocate for STEM programs in the surrounding communities, and launched its own STEM program in 2010, which is supported by more than 100 NSWC Crane employee volunteers. The STEM Program provides hands-on learning opportunities to students grades K-12 through STEM education programming and events throughout the Indiana Uplands region. 

This program includes summer STEM camps, and after-school programming and field trips to WestGate Academy. NSWC Crane employee volunteers participate in sponsored-school partnerships, mentor students in classrooms, and support science fairs, a STEM club, and VEX and First Robotics competitions for students. In April 2020, the program responded to community needs during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking its program virtual to continue to provide educational opportunities for students.

Radius Indiana recognizes the importance of building the workforce pipeline for jobs in the region, and having a strong, diverse talent pool ready for hire. Our region is in a unique position to directly benefit from having a naval base in our backyard. Dr. Angie Lewis sets a tremendous example for women to enter the STEM field and help build our region’s workforce.

Radius applauds NSWC Crane for its STEM activities and the opportunities they continue to provide to the region, and congratulates Dr. Angie Lewis on her new position. We look forward to working with you and seeing an increase of women in STEM careers because of your inspiration.

Change in Command Brings Excitement for Crane’s Future

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

 

In July of this year, NSA Crane and NSWC Crane welcomed two new commanding officers to lead the southern Indiana installation. 

Commander James L. Smith, commanding officer of NSA Crane, is a 2002 graduate of the United States Naval Academy where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Ocean Engineering. Captain Thomas (Duncan) McKay, commanding officer of NSWC Crane, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Florida State University in 1996, and later earned a Naval Engineer’s Degree and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006. Both present impressive resumes and hold a number of personal achievements and various awards.

Like the leaders before them, Smith and McKay will be balancing the responsibilities of learning from the organization’s past and executing plans for its future. 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. 

While both bring a great deal of experience to their respective roles, we are currently living in unprecedented times. Stepping into leadership during a pandemic poses a number of challenges including navigating remote work and changes in logistics and daily operations. We wish them the best as they use new leadership styles to overcome these obstacles moving forward. 

Both Smith and McKay have expressed their appreciation for the community’s support of Crane and its missions, as well as their commitment to sustain the strategic value of Crane while growing the economic prosperity of the region and state of Indiana. This includes maintaining a close relationship with the White River Military Coordination Alliance to continue building strong communication channels, and promoting development within the surrounding areas.

Last year, Crane anticipated increasing the size their workforce in the coming years. Recently, Crane released the date for the 2020 Crane Career Fair, taking place virtually from 2-6pm on Thursday, October 22. Today, Team Crane’s civilian and contractor workforce stands 5,500 strong, the largest in three decades. With over 900 employees becoming eligible for retirement in the next five years, employment opportunities are expected to become available. Our region needs to ensure there is a workforce available to meet the growth needs and replace those retiring in the coming years. 

Entrepreneurs Take on Crane IP in New Pitch Competition

By Matt Craig, Radius Indiana Director of Crane Community Support

 

With most every sector of our economy feeling the effects of the pandemic, organizations in our region have come together to offer a new opportunity that will help spur innovation and business growth. This month, Radius Indiana, in coordination with Elevate Ventures, the Indiana Small Business Development Center and Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, will host a virtual pitch competition for entrepreneurs, inventors and start-ups focused on patented technologies and intellectual property (IP) developed at Crane–the best news–it is royalty free.

Radius Indiana created the concept for “Royalty-Free IP” pitch competition after learning of NSWC Crane’s Rapid Response Licensing Program, which launched this spring 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.

Engineers and scientists at NSWC Crane 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 Royalty-Free IP pitch competition provides a venue to develop a practical application of a technology to create a new commercial product, or launch a new business that can grow here in our region.

Radius Indiana worked with NSWC Crane to identify 10 technologies from the patent portfolio with the greatest opportunity for commercialization and product development. Individuals or teams are invited to develop an innovative proposal for one of the selected intellectual properties and the top entries will share in cash prizes totaling $5,000. Subjects range from drone tracking, to battery charger and power reduction systems, to tunable detection systems and hyperspectral imaging. 

Participants will receive virtual coaching sessions and training at no cost from competition partners, Elevate Ventures, a private venture development organization that develops emerging and existing high-growth businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies and the Indiana Small Business Development Center, which offers entrepreneurs expert guidance and a comprehensive network of resources.

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 July 13, and the pitch competition will be held via a virtual format on July 30. Visit www.radiusindiana.com to register. 

About Radius Indiana: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

 

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Radius Indiana Hosts Royalty-Free Pitch Competition Ten Crane technologies available for entrepreneurs, inventors and start-ups.

BEDFORD, Ind. (July 8, 2020) – Radius Indiana, in coordination with Elevate Ventures, Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane Division, and the Indiana Small Business Development Center, will host the region’s first “Royalty-free IP Pitch Competition” July 30. Winning entries will share in cash prizes totaling $5,000.

The competition offers unprecedented, royalty-free access for those who seek to commercialize patented technologies and concepts developed at NSWC Crane–Indiana’s only federal research laboratory. Radius Indiana and Crane leaders hope that businesses and entrepreneurs will use these technologies to support new jobs and economic growth.

Individuals or teams are invited to develop an innovative proposal for one of 10 intellectual properties (IP) selected for the competition. Subjects range from drone tracking, to battery charger and power reduction systems, to Tunable Detection Systems and Hyperspectral Imaging. Descriptions of the IP can be found on the Radius Indiana website.

“The engineers and scientists at NSWC create these solutions to solve problems encountered by the men and women protecting our nation, but many of these also can apply to the needs of everyday life for people anywhere,” said Jeff Quyle, Radius president and CEO. “We hope that our pitch competitors will produce ‘win/win’ results: a practical application of the technology to make life better, and a new business that can grow here among our communities.” 

There is no cost to register and entrants will receive a template to create a slide presentation for the competition. In addition, virtual coaching sessions will be offered July 14, 15, and 16 to pick up pointers on delivering the best pitch, and individual coaching sessions will be available for each participant through the resources of Elevate Ventures and the Indiana Small Business Development Center.

“Programs like the Crane IP pitch competition provide a chance for founders, students, and faculty to innovate around strong intellectual property to create new innovation-driven technology companies in Indiana,” said Landon Young, director of university initiatives and entrepreneur-in-residence at Elevate Ventures. “We are excited to be a part of this event and are eager to see the proposals the applicants come up with.”

The deadline for registration to participate is July 13, 2020. The pitch competition will be held virtually on July 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Eastern Daylight Savings Time.

To register, visit www.radiusindiana.com.

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About Radius Indiana: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

About NSWC Crane: NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today’s Warfighter.

About Elevate Ventures: Elevate Ventures is a private venture development organization that nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-growth businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. Elevate Ventures accomplishes this by providing access to capital, rigorous business analysis and robust advisory services that connect companies with the right mix of resources businesses need to succeed long term. To learn more about Elevate Ventures, visit elevateventures.com.

About Indiana Small Business Development Center: The Indiana SBDC creates a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth, and sustainability of Indiana’s small businesses by providing entrepreneurs expert guidance and a comprehensive network of resources.

 

Artisan Electronics Receives Award from Radius Indiana’s Regional Impact Fund, Continues Growth at WestGate@Crane Technology Park

ODON, Ind. (June 22, 2020) — A Radius Indiana Regional Impact Fund grant of $3,625 was recently allocated to Artisan Electronics Inc. for workforce training and to expand its internship program. 

Artisan Electronics Inc. is a defense contractor based at WestGate@Crane Technology Park in Odon, Indiana. The small business specializes in engineering, technical, cybersecurity and IT services for the Department of Defense and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division

“Artisan is attracting new talent to the region as they tackle some provocative technology issues for their clients,” said Jeff Quyle, president and CEO of Radius Indiana. “I’m glad to see a locally owned company like this growing and showing leadership in workforce and technology circles.”

Artisan Electronics, which was awarded second place by Best Places to Work in Indiana in 2019, plans to use part of the funding toward training programs which will result in adding 20 full-time employees to its current staff of 50 employees by 2023.  

“We are excited to offer more opportunities for exceptional people to build a rewarding career here in southern Indiana. The support of Radius, Daviess County Economic Development Foundation, and the IEDC has been phenomenal and we are looking forward to continuing to grow and add value to our DoD clients with their help,” said Greg Sapp, Vice President of Artisan Electronics.

Daviess County Economic Development Foundation will provide an additional $1,000 in matching funds to supplement the Regional Impact Fund grant.

“Artisan Electronics has established company culture and a brand that is recognized in the region, the state of Indiana and beyond,” said Bryant Niehoff, executive director of Daviess County Economic Development Corporation. “We are thrilled to be a part of Artisan’s continued growth in WestGate and proud that they call Daviess County home.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation has also offered Artisan Electronics $325,000 in Economic Development for a Growing Economy Tax Credits to promote the company’s expansion. 

Including Artisan Electronics, there are currently five projects underway at the WestGate@Crane Technology Park. Two larger national firms and three locally-owned firms are looking at sites in the tech park in all three of the WestGate counties (Daviess, Martin, and Greene). The projects would involve increased employment within the tech park, and some include the construction of new buildings as well as the installation of new equipment. The Regional Impact Fund is involved in two of the projects and may assist others if needed to help finalize the projects.

It is very encouraging to see all of the positive activity taking place at WestGate,” said Niehoff. “As NSWC Crane continues to demonstrate leadership at the national level, the Tech Park is becoming more and more of a destination for those innovative companies such as Artisan that support Crane’s mission. The level of interest and ongoing projects that we continue to remain engaged in are validation of WestGate’s growth potential.”

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About Radius Indiana: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

About the Regional Impact Fund: The Regional Impact Fund is a sub-organization of Radius Indiana with the purpose of making investments in public and private organizations that advance regional economic development strategies. The Regional Impact Fund is a deal-closing fund that makes such investments in the form of grants, loans, equity investments, or other such vehicles deemed to be in the best interests of Southern Indiana. The Regional Impact Fund gives high priority to projects that include job creation, site development and expansion.

About Artisan Electronics: Artisan Electronics is a small business headquartered within the Westgate@Crane Technology Park. Since 1996, Artisan has been working with the Department of Defense and commercial clients to engineer results for complex issues. Its team translates client needs into comprehensive technical projects by bringing technical ability, dependability and applied creativity to engineering, information technology and electronics support projects.