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MIT launches academic study on NSWC Crane Innovation Ecosystem

By NSWC Crane Corporate Communications | Oct. 11, 2018

CRANE, Ind. – Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) will perform an in-depth academic case study of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) Innovation Ecosystem. The Department of Defense (DoD) Laboratories Office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has awarded a competitive contract to MIT to execute this analysis. MIT staff will launch this one-year case study October 11 at NSWC Crane.

MIT is a global leader of analysis and study of innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems. MIT defines innovative ecosystems as an interconnected set of people and resources, including physical environment, that provide the context for innovative-driven enterprises to start, grow and scale.

For more than a decade, NSWC Crane has leveraged the extended enterprise in southwest Indiana and across the state to further its national security mission. This enterprise includes entities Crane has a relationship with including State entities such as the Indiana Office of Defense Development and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, regional organizations such as Radius Indiana, Regional Opportunities Initiative, Inc., and Indiana Innovation Institute, and universities such as Indiana University, Purdue University, University of Southern Indiana, and University of Notre Dame and many other government, regional, and academic institutions.

At the same time, state and local government, industry, and philanthropic organizations have invested more than $250 million within the Crane region. These combined efforts have accelerated collaboration and provided mutually-beneficial opportunities for entities within the ecosystem.

Dr. Kyle Werner, the Director of Engagement for NSWC Crane, says this study is designed to showcase the impact and success of these efforts.

“The Innovation Ecosystem Case Study presents an opportunity to shine a national spotlight on the highly innovative work being performed by our talented workforce every day,” says Werner. “We are delighted to work with the DoD Laboratories Office and MIT on this important effort. We believe the leadership commitment, dedicated resource investment, and deliberate collaboration that has been nurtured across Indiana may serve as an example for other DoD lab-centered innovation ecosystems across the country.”

The case study will focus on Crane’s growing relationship with external entities and how this community enhances Command’s ability to perform its mission. The purpose of this case study is to conduct research that identifies and documents key success factors, lessons learned, best practices, and recommendations to enable innovation that can be shared across the DoD Enterprise.

“With the technical needs on the battlefield and at sea rapidly changing, our ability to collaborate is critical in order to evade threats and defend our freedoms,” says Dr. Brett Seidle, the Technical Director for NSWC Crane. “Indiana has rich intellectual capital and technical capability; we intend to continue to expand our innovation ecosystem partnerships so service men and women come home safely.”

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi-spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's Warfighter.