Posts filed under 'Technology'

University research and economic development

Universities in Indiana are continuing to lead the way in technological innovation that can help our state stay competitive in the global economy. Indiana University has announced the acquisition a new supercomputer expected to be one of the fastest in the world, and possibly the fastest university-owned computer.

The impact on research funding will help develop the technological infrastructure of our state and lead to more investment in innovative science:

Research means research grants, and MacIntyre said IU expects to receive $477 million for research of all kinds this year. The new computer is intended to help IU reach a long-term goal of attracting $800 million in grants each year.

Purdue University is also staying at the cutting edge, and their Energy Center Hydrogen Initiative Symposium recently concluded its inaugural meeting:

The meeting, which ends today, comes about two months after President Bush used his State of the Union address to trumpet continuing research that could eventually fill the nation’s highways with fuel-cell cars and hydrogen filling stations.

More than 100 people are attending Purdue’s Hydrogen Initiative Symposium to hear scientists and officials from the U.S. Department of Energy, NASA and several national laboratories discuss the challenges of harnessing hydrogen for transportation systems.

Basic university research directly translates into market innovations for Indiana businesses and is crucial for the future economic development of our state.

Now that we live in a world where China has officially surpassed the United States in internet usage, it is apparent that resting on our laurels is not an option. In order to stay ahead of the competition, create new jobs, and ensure opportunity for the next generation we must continue to invest in the research and technology that drove the financial engine of our country for the last century.

If you are interested in other similar university-sponsored projects in Indiana, here are a few I have discussed in the last several months:

Nanotechnology Center Opens in Indiana
Update on South Bend Tech Park
ND research results in possible CSO fix
Supercomputing grid comes to South Bend

2 comments April 7th, 2006

Supercomputing grid comes to South Bend

gridThe Northwest Indiana Computational Grid is now scheduled to go online in January, thanks to $6.5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Through a partnership with the University of Notre Dame, Argonne National Laboratory, and Purdue University, the grid will combine processing, storage, transmission, and visualization of complex data to be used in a wide variety of research applications.

In South Bend, Notre Dame will house a 21-foot long cluster of 580 computers downtown at Union Station by Coveleski Stadium. The cluster will be linked into the grid in cooperation with the St. Joseph Valley Metronet – the non-profit dark fiber network established in cooperation with the City of South Bend earlier this year.

The South Bend Tribune says the project, along with other recent local technology developments “represent(s) a continuing shift in the local economy away from traditional manufacturing toward a technology base.”

The Grid will be an incredible opportunity for our area, but I do not think it necessarily precludes manufacturing applications. Increased computing power and research capability will help serve to modernize our manufacturing base – not eliminate it.

Jeff Kantor, V.P for research and graduate studies at Notre Dame says the grid will dramatically increase the research infrastructure, but also cites some practical implications for the nuts-and-bolts engineering and manufacturing economy:

“The design of orthopedic devices, from an engineering perspective, is an example of where we can lead with simulation studies and computations work that will be supported through the collaboration of the grid.”

1 comment December 20th, 2005

Two more Indiana legislative blogs

It turns out that at least two other Indiana legislators have blogs of their own. Representative Steve Heim (R – Culver) and Senator David Ford (R - Hartford City) both have Blogger accounts.

Representative Heim seems to have begun posting on December 1st, and Senator Ford started back in March of this year. If anyone knows of any other Indiana legislative blogs that I have missed, please let me know.

(Thanks to Masson’s Blog and Lawmakers for pointing them out.)

1 comment December 4th, 2005

ND research results in possible CSO fix

I have posted before about the costs associated with fixing Combined Sewer Overflows. Today’s South Bend Tribune has a very interesting story about one approach that could dramatically reduce those costs:

ND researchers could save South Bend millions

Jeffrey Talley, assistant professor of civil engineering and geological sciences at the University of Notre Dame… is leading a research effort, using South Bend’s sewer system as his laboratory, that would use a network of embedded wireless sensors inside sewer pipes to measure water levels during wet weather. If a pipe fills up with rain or melted snow, the sensor would send a radio message alerting a “smart valve” to open and send water into other pipes with more room.

Talley said he has been contacted by cities from around the world, including Paris, New York, Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles. Initially he was inundated with e-mails and was receiving 15 calls a day from people wanting to learn more… One of those inquiries came from Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls Inc., which is negotiating with the University of Notre Dame to license the patent for the process and commercialize it. Brad Van Meter, municipal utilities solutions manager with the company, said he sees a potential $1 trillion world market for the process.

I have followed the progress of this research for a while now, after being briefed on it by the City of South Bend last year.

It is a clear demonstration of the potential benefits of a society strongly invested in research and development. Hopefully, more advanced technologies like this will result from the proposed South Bend technology park that I discussed in a previous post.

Add comment October 25th, 2005

RegFlex Final Meeting Makes No Recommendations

The final meeting of the year for the Regulatory Flexibility Committee was held yesterday. The stated purpose of the meeting was to “consider recommending proposed legislation concerning telecommunications reform.” However, no recommendation ended up being made.

At the previous meeting, Co-Chairman Representative Jack Lutz suggested that the committee should endorse a specific legislative proposal for consideration in the upcoming legislative session. It became apparent at Tuesday’s meeting, however, that there was little consensus on the issue.

I enjoyed the caliber of discussion at our final meeting. It helped that it was held in a conference room in the Government Center, rather than in one of the Statehouse committee rooms. In a conference setting all of the members were able to engage in a discussion sitting across from each other at a table.


For truly meaningful dialogue on our technological infrastructure, though, I would like to see committee members (and the rest of the General Assembly, for that matter) receive more education on everything from the basics of broadband, to the latest standards in technology - like WiMax, which has the potential to revolutionize the industry.

Indiana Interconnect is a collaborative effort between business, government, education and technology leaders to “evaluate and improve Indiana’s advanced telecommunications infrastructure and level of technology adoption.” They have more information on our state’s telecommunications infrastructure, including a detailed final report (that is about two years old now).

The adoption of new technologies is spreading quickly across the country. As a state, we need to be at the experimental forefront of telecommunications innovation – not trying to stifle innovation.

Of course, the citizenry needs to be an active participant in these discussions. As it was stated at F2C:

Too often the discussion of telecommunications policy turns on phrases like “overregulation,” and “investment incentives.” These are critical issues, to be sure, but like the term “last mile,” such phrases frame the issues in network-centric terms. As more and more intelligence migrates to the edge of the network, users of the network need to be part of the policy debate. Let’s put the user back into the picture.

Please let me know if you have ideas you would like to contribute.

Add comment October 19th, 2005

Update on South Bend Tech Park

It turns out I may have spoken too soon in my post on Friday about the lack of developments with a South Bend area Certified Technology Park. The South Bend Tribune reports that Notre Dame is now officially “studying” a proposal from the City:

The city has been in discussions with Notre Dame and Indiana University South Bend to build a park that would have a combination of research facilities and space for businesses. It would be called the Research Park at Notre Dame.

The city looked at a variety of sites but would like to see the park built near the Notre Dame campus, Kendall said. The proposal asks for about 13 acres of university property at Eddy and the new Edison Road.

Notre Dame already is planning a retail and housing development nearby on Eddy Street. The areas would complement each other well and Kendall said other research parks have seen an advantage to being close to campus.

Kendall said the city will apply for the park to become a state-certified technology park. State-certified parks are able to capture up to $5 million in incremental sales tax and payroll employment tax revenues.

For now, the city is in no rush and is waiting to see where Notre Dame stands.

“It’s their property and it’s their announcement to make when the time comes,” Kendall said.

This is good news for the community, and I look forward to helping both Notre Dame and South Bend in any way I can on this project.

Add comment October 9th, 2005

Nanotechnology Center Opens in Indiana

buckyballThe Associated Press ran a story this week highlighting nanotechnology and Purdue University’s new Birck Nanotechnology Center:

Purdue’s modernistic 187,000-square-foot Birck center, set to be dedicated Oct. 8, aims to put it ahead in the nanotech race by bringing together under one roof researchers whose work was once spread across 23 Purdue laboratories. The center dominates Discovery Park, the high-tech research complex on the West Lafayette campus…

…the Birck facility one of the nation’s most innovative nanotech centers, largely because of its emphasis on bringing together the far-flung field’s many disciplines…

Projects, including work to create devices to improve early tumor and cancer detection, unfold in state-of-the-art labs designed to control noise, temperature, humidity and electromagnetic interference from radio waves.

I enjoy staying on top of the latest news and developments in nanotech, and I am glad the Birck center is finally getting off the ground.

The project was initiated under the Certified Technology Park Program that was created by the General Assembly in 2002. Several such parks have begun development – mainly in relation to universities around the state. South Bend and the University of Notre Dame (who has its own nanotechnology program) are working to bring the concept to Northern Indiana, but it seems to be simmering on the back burner at the moment.

Indiana has been a leader in many innovative technology programs – from the public 21st Century Fund, to the non-profit Indiana Venture Center, and the technology trade association TechPoint. Both public and private initatives such as these are crucial to moving Indiana into the next decade as a strong competitor and global leader.

On a related note, and an update to my earlier post about renewable energy in Indiana, the innovative BioTown, USA project seems to be moving right along (hat tip to the Indiana Law Blog).

1 comment October 7th, 2005


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