INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 5, 2020) – Today, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) announced grant awards totaling $650,000 to three Indiana companies to foster innovation and technology development in the defense industry. The grants, which were recently approved following the state’s first Technical Interchange Meeting (TIM) in July, will enable these businesses to create new platforms or processes utilizing smart technology to improve data management, efficiency and analysis among contractors with the U.S. Department of Defense.
“As a state, we’re committed to fueling innovation and investing in disruptive technologies like digital thread to cultivate a 21st century defense ecosystem,” said retired Major General Omer C. (Clif) Tooley Jr., IEDC president of defense development. “These grants will allow Indiana companies to continue innovating, competing and developing new solutions that encourage long-term, sustainable growth in Indiana’s defense industry. We’re excited to collaborate with the Air Force Research Laboratory to enhance the technical capabilities of our nation’s supply chain and look forward to supporting these projects from start to finish.”
The Indiana Defense Network, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to promoting and enhancing the state’s defense assets in partnership with the IEDC, convened industry, academic and military stakeholders for the Indiana TIM, discussing opportunities for research and development in emerging technology fields. During the final meeting on July 28, the Indiana TIM, with support from the Air Force Research Laboratory, invited a select group of companies to present project proposals that would address opportunities and challenges in digital thread – a new technology framework that helps companies process and evaluate real-time data within the lifecycle of a product or system. The Indiana businesses receiving grants were required to include testing validation and technology support from other organizations across the state.
- Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO) (Marshall County; $150,000 grant award), a manufacturing and technology provider, will develop a machine learning, smart-data-analysis platform for manufacturers that provides real-time adjustment and optimization utilizing artificial intelligence for product quality monitoring. This project will enhance efficiencies and lower costs for manufacturers, replacing traditional methods of ballbar and laser quality calibrations.
Project Support: Rolls-Royce & Simba Chain
“The TIM leveraged the best of the different sectors available in industry in order to achieve success,” said Tim Fuesting, technical specialist at Rolls-Royce. “This approach consisted of partnering small businesses with the technical expertise and industry knowledge of universities, government entities and large manufacturers. The ITAMCO project has the focus of using technology to deliver business-changing AI for machining manufacturers.”
“We’re honored to be selected by the IEDC, TIM and the Indiana Defense Network to increase access to tooling that can assist small and large manufacturers in diagnosing the health of their equipment using machine learning and artificial intelligence,” said Joel Neidig, director of research and development at ITAMCO. “The work will further improve trust and verification into the manufacturing processes of U.S. manufacturers.”
- J&L Dimensional (LaPorte County; $250,000 grant award), a certified women-owned business and service provider in dimensional layout inspection, metal finishing and fluorescent penetrant inspection, will create a platform that improves decision making, increases efficiency of production and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operations, and lowers costs by creating linkages to previously inaccessible data. This project will build on the Model-based Feature Information Network (MFIN) structure to centralize all part-related information in an accessible cloud environment.
Project Support: Rolls-Royce & Purdue University
“Utilization of cloud platforms is an important step to develop a truly connected digital thread throughout the supply chain,” said Shain Collins, automation specialist at J&L Dimensional. “By leveraging the industry knowledge and expertise of small businesses in Indiana, we hope to utilize technology to increase access to a cloud-based digital thread information and make it accessible to manufacturers across the supply chain.”
- Mursix Corporation (Delaware County; $250,000 grant award), which specializes in stamping and component manufacturing, will utilize data to enhance the properties of the company’s digital thread capabilities for future commercial automotive, medical and military applications.
Project Support: Cummins, ICTT System Sciences, IntelAdvise & Purdue Polytechnic
“We’re proud to partner with the state to demonstrate the impact of digital thread on the supply chain,” said Susan Murray Carlock, vice president of business development at Mursix Corporation. “This grant will allow our project team to focus on accelerating the supply chain collaboration-innovation cycle and learning development of enterprises and the state’s advanced manufacturing workforce.”
“Cummins is thrilled to work with private and public entities, including the IEDC, Purdue and Mursix, to transform manufacturing to benefit the state’s economy and drive job growth in the digital age,” said Steve Stahley, director of measurement excellence at Cummins Inc. “This project has incredible potential to increase the pace of design, product development, manufacturing and the launch of products – potentially taking years off the process. For Cummins, it furthers our Industry 4.0 efforts by expanding our knowledge and use of digital manufacturing and a digital supply chain. These types of projects drive collaboration, cultivate the leaders of tomorrow and help us attract and retain talent in our state.”
Indiana is committed to embracing disruptive technology to bolster its economic industries and position the state for long-term global competitiveness and economic growth. The $650,000 in grant funding, which will propel investments being made by these companies and their support organizations, was approved through the state’s 21st Century Research & Technology Fund (21 Fund), which makes direct investments into Indiana startups and supports public-private partnerships to advance technology development and commercialization.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) leads the state of Indiana’s economic development efforts, helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Governed by a 15-member board chaired by Governor Eric J. Holcomb, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.