University of Southern Indiana
USI is a comprehensive higher education institution of approximately 10,000 students located in Evansville, Indiana focused on serving both the higher education and economic development needs of southwest Indiana.
In 2007, the University of Southern Indiana and NSWC Crane established an educational partnership geared to enhance USI faculty research and student learning opportunities while benefitting Crane’s research and commercialization of technology needs. Education component includes USI’s Pott College of Science and Engineering and College of Business. The process will be facilitated by USI’s Center for Applied Research and Crane’s Office of Technology Transfer.
“This is an important partnership for the University,” said former USI President H. Ray Hoops “The partnership with NSWC Crane has great potential for USI to advance the time line for expanding our applied research capabilities and outreach to regional business and industry.”
According to Scott Gordon, the Pott College of Science and Engineering Dean, "This partnership opens new doors to collaboration and technology transfer among scientists and engineers at USI and NSWC Crane. The focus both institutions have on applied research will not only benefit the region, but open doors to new learning opportunities for students in southwest Indiana. This is a win/win for all parties involved".
NSWC Crane provides comprehensive support for complex military systems spanning development, deployment and sustainment in three mission areas: Electronic Warfare/Information Operations, Special Missions, and Strategic Missions. “NSWC Crane leverages our unique technical capabilities and those of our industry partners to provide rapid response, technical solutions to meet the mission needs of the Warfighter,” stated CAPT Mark Welsh, the former Commander of NSWC Crane.
The educational partnership has given both Crane and ISU incredible opportunities. For instance, Dr. Leslie Nunn, an assistant business law professor, established a corporation with his class of 51 students to commercialize a NSWC Crane technology and to teach entrepreneurship. “This is the first time that our students will start and operate a business,” Nunn said. “We are thrilled with our partnership with Crane. The educational opportunities are unlimited.”
In 2010, the University of Southern Indiana facilitated a first-of-its-kind Innovation Mining event, which brought together inventors as well as technology transfer, academic, and industry expertise to identify potential disclosures—documented concepts, which could be used toward applying for a patent.
Participants in the event, sponsored by Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center’s (NSWC) Office of Chief Technology, included the USI College of Business and Department of Engineering, Growth Alliance of Greater Evansville (GAGE), Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation, and TechLink and TEDCO, two national partnership intermediaries. Lieutenant Governor-elect Sue Ellspermann and former director of USI’s Center for Applied Research helped facilitate the session.
Duane Embree, Director of Military Defense Initiatives at Ivy Tech and former technical director at Crane said, “NSWC Crane is putting a structured, disciplined process for innovation in place. This Innovation Mining event is a key component of that process.”
Six projects were reviewed during the event and 19 disclosures were identified. This exceeded the goal of 10 to 15 disclosures and represents almost a year of activity at Crane.
Additionally, the Growth Alliance of Greater Evansville (GAGE) and NSWC Crane have entered into a Partner Intermediary Agreement (PIA) that allows GAGE to support the commercialization process of Crane’s patents throughout the region. GAGE works with companies to match new technologies with existing companies and with entrepreneurs to expand high tech industries and high wage job opportunities for Indiana and the region.
According to Joe Wallace, former president of GAGE, “The potential for commercialization from both existing and in-process intellectual property is sufficiently large to transform local industries into more profitable and sustainable businesses that can compete globally with high value-added products and services.”
Source: University of Southern Indiana