9/1/2017 6:33:00 PM Applied Research Institute to fund microelectronics as first project
ARI board of directors
• Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb. • Gen. Gene Renuart, United States Air Force (Retired) — ARI chairman. • Phil Burkholder, president of Defense Aerospace, North America, Rolls-Royce. • Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue University. • Steve Ferguson, chairman of Cook Group (past advisory board chairman). • Michael McRobbie, president of Indiana University • Brett Seidle, technical director with Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (ex-officio). • Melanie Walker, president and CEO, Tsuchiya Group North America, TASUS Corp.
The newly formed Applied Research Institute identified its first multimillion-dollar project Thursday as an investment in streamlining the research and development of microelectronics.
The Central Indiana Corporate Partnership Foundation used a $15 million portion of the grant money it received from a greater $42 million Lilly Endowment in 2015 to found the institute with a central goal of recruiting, managing and facilitating research teams. The institute will connect researchers to state laboratories, equipment and research facilities across the state.
It will also invest up to $3.5 million over the next two years in the development of widely applicable technology that's resistant to counterfeit and cyber attacks.
"We hope to borrow the best from IU, Purdue, Notre Dame and other places," Applied Research Institute chairman and retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart said. "We want to take advantage of those relationships not only for the technical expertise, but for the connective tissue."
Renuart is one of eight members on the nonprofit's board, which features leaders from state government, the defense sector, industry and research universities. The board had its first official meeting Thursday in Bloomington. Each member brings with them another path for research to follow, as the Applied Research Institute looks to call upon facilities at the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indiana University, Purdue University and the Battery Innovation Center near Crane.
Microelectronics may be used in the defense sector to detect when someone has tampered with an electronic device, or they may have other cross-sector applications in the health sector related to implanted medical devices. Already, representatives from NSWC Crane, IU and Purdue have been tapped to provide data, analysis, manufacturing principles, hardware development and testing for the project.
"These projects are going to take on a life of their own, and it's the Applied Research Institute's job to make sure they're not pulled down the rabbit hole," Renuart said. "As we look at these things, you begin to see a convergence. We may start down the path with microelectronics, and this thing may branch down four other paths tomorrow."