HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – Indiana University (IU) says in what is one of the largest commitments made by a college or university to high-tech industry and national defense, IU has secured and will invest at least $111 million over the next several years to advance its national leadership in microelectronics and nanotechnology.
Officials say the university’s investment will boost the growth of the microelectronics industry in Indiana and across the U.S. and accelerate solutions to major national security challenges through enhanced collaboration with Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division. IU says its investments will address emerging semiconductor technologies, drive talent development and respond to critical defense needs. IU says there will be financial support for new faculty hires, facilities, equipment and strategic initiatives focused on advancements in microelectronics, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, machine learning and cybersecurity.
Officials say IU’s investments in microelectronics and to support its partnership with NSWC Crane and industry include:
- As part of IU Bloomington’s Faculty 100 hiring initiative, investing $23.5 million over the next five years to recruit 25 new faculty members in microelectronics, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, machine learning and cybersecurity. IU will focus on hiring faculty with Department of Defense experience, as well as the creativity and entrepreneurial ability to develop dual-purpose technologies and capabilities.
- Investing $53.5 million in laboratories and other facilities, equipment and faculty start-up costs to support key research areas with defense applications; increase research partnerships; expand federal grants and contracts; and create additional opportunities for IU and Crane personnel to collaborate.
- Announcing a $10 million investment to launch the new Center for Reliable and Trusted Electronics, which will lead research activities focused on the modeling and simulation of radiation effects and the design of radiation-hardened technologies. The center, to be known as IU CREATE, will build on an existing initiative at the IU Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering supported by a $5 million grant from NSWC Crane and an additional $1 million from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. that is focused on building and testing microelectronics in extreme environments.
- Implementing new degree programs to train students in microelectronics and nanofabrication and investing in nanofabrication facilities to support IU programs and the IU-NSWC Crane partnership. The total developmental, renovation and equipment, and operational commitment will be $13.5 million.
- Committing $1 million for each of the next five years to support innovative faculty research in key technology areas such as biotechnology and synthetic biology.
“The significant investments we’re making in academic and research programs, new faculty appointments, state-of-the-art facilities and future-focused collaboration with industry will strengthen IU’s national leadership, further develop Indiana’s microelectronics sector and drive our state’s current and future economic competitiveness,” IU President Pamela Whitten said. “They also reflect a shared mission between IU and NSWC Crane to drive deeper strategic collaboration and build the innovative technologies and capabilities critical to our nation’s security and prosperity.”