March 31, 2023

Accelerating research and innovation in AI, nanotechnology and microelectronics to advance the Hoosier economy

The final days of March delivered two major announcements at Indiana University that reflect the university’s strategic efforts to advance growth in vital sectors of the Indiana economy, drive innovation in key areas that the state has targeted for investment and development, and strengthen the state’s talent pipeline of scholars and researchers.  

Last week, IU unveiled a new initiative, Accelerating Imagination, which will unite and leverage IU’s top researchers and resources in artificial intelligence, high-performance computing and data science to support the state’s business, education and government leaders as they address issues crucial to Indiana’s economic vitality.

The initiative will catalyze collaboration among IU’s AI researchers and those from partner institutions, enhance the external visibility and impact of IU research and inspire new collaborations; and advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion in AI through education and outreach. It will also expand partnerships with a wide range of industries throughout the state, including Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane); scale up strengths in social and behavioral sciences, business, and arts and humanities on IU’s Bloomington campus; and accelerate IU’s entrepreneurship and commercialization efforts. 

This past Tuesday, March 28, IU also announced it will create three new degree programs and expand its research efforts in the areas of microelectronics, semiconductors and nanofabrication to advance growth in these vital sectors and address the state’s need for knowledgeable and skilled employees focused on expanding the capabilities of these technologies.  

The new degree programs, which are pending approval from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, and expanded research areas align with the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 championed by U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind. IU was one of the first universities to support the $280 billion bipartisan bill, which prioritizes investments in emerging technologies and innovations critical to America’s economic competitiveness, scientific and technology leadership, and national security. They will also support the student success, research and service pillars of IU 2030 – a strategic plan that, once endorsed by IU trustees, will guide the university’s progress for the next seven years. The plan sets bold targets for IU’s national research impact and productivity and calls for stronger alignment with industry sectors and focus areas that the state of Indiana has targeted for investment and growth through the Indiana Economic Development Corp. 

“These new programs respond to key economic development priorities and increased student interest in these rapidly expanding industry sectors,” said IU President Pamela Whitten. “They will prove essential to providing the talent needed to support Indiana’s aspiration as a tech hub destination. As Indiana’s largest and most research-active university, we have the potential to feed Indiana’s economic prosperity while equipping our students for multifaceted, in-demand careers.” 

Read more about the Accelerating Imagination initiative

Read more about IU’s new degree programs to drive research and boost the state’s talent pipeline


Statehouse Update

The IU State Relations team has reviewed every bill that has been introduced at the Statehouse, and determined if and how the bill could impact the university. This Statehouse Update provides a summary of bills the team is tracking that have had activity up to this point during the twelfth week of session.

Read the Statehouse Update


Economic Engagement Update

Improving the Hoosier workforce 

IU’s regional campuses continue to play a major role in supporting Indiana’s mission to develop its workforce and ensure a productive and efficient economy.  

IU East recently unveiled a new micro-credential program for corporations who want to attract, develop and promote employees. The five-week, self-paced, online course prepares employees who are interested in professional growth for additional responsibilities within their companies with a goal of possible promotion.  

In partnership with Belden Inc., a leading manufacturer of networking, connectivity and cable products, IU East launched a pilot program at the start of the spring semester, and earlier this month, 10 employees enrolled in the program received a certificate of completion during a celebration ceremony held at Belden.  

“We very much want to build a program that enriches the lives and careers of residents in our service area,” said Jean Harper, interim associate vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at IU East, who helped develop the program. “Part of the mission of IU East is to dedicate our energies toward preparing all of our students for the opportunities of the 21st century, and these micro-credentials will work toward that goal.” 

This week, IU Kokomo announced that four area school corporations have joined a partnership with the campus to help students earn general education college credits while in high school. 

Students from Frankton High School, Northfield High School, Northwestern High School, Southwood High School, and Western High School can now complete 30 hours of coursework, with additional support including financial aid education, career development and career exploration through IU Kokomo’s participation in the Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s Indiana College Core Certificate (ICC) program. 

“The ICC opens the doors for students to access dual credit work, to graduate not only with a high school diploma, but a start on their higher education,” said Sarah Byrd, IU Kokomo’s ICC program director. “It benefits not only the students, but also our region and state, as they begin higher education earlier and further develop their skills.” 

Read more about IU East’s micro-credential program 

Read more about IU Kokomo’s ICC program 


IU in the news

Indiana’s population growth slowed in 2022 — its smallest annual increase since 2015

Analysis by the Indiana Business Research Center at IU’s Kelley School of Business indicates that Indiana had the smallest annual population increase in nearly a decade. For the second consecutive year, a low rate of natural population increase was the primary driver of Indiana’s slow growth. 

Read the full story 


Trusted AI Initiative provides interdisciplinary research opportunities for students, faculty 

A workforce development partnership among IU, NSWC Crane, the University of Notre Dame and Purdue University aims to answer several questions about human trust in artificial intelligence, while getting more students interested in STEM fields. The research could help the government and military determine how to apply AI technologies to benefit the defense and security of the United State. 

Read the full story 


NEXTGEN Indy offers insights on Indianapolis tourism, educational opportunities for students 

The IU School of Health & Human Sciences at IUPUI hosted an all-star lineup of Indianapolis’ top leaders in the local sports and tourism industry during last week’s “NEXTGEN Indy: Building Indy’s Brand Around Sports and Entertainment.” 

Read the full story