Hard technology corridor in the heart of the country

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Indianapolis 500 always makes Memorial Day weekend exciting for Hoosier State. But last week was even busier.

Four days before the 2022 Indy 500, two special spots have been unveiled. Next to Purdue’s West Lafayette campus, the 460-acre Discovery Park District has shown why smart cities could get smarter faster in Central America. As mentioned in a previous article here, a connected community of thousands of residents will also facilitate a “lab-to-life” deployment of the latest autonomy technologies, serving as the first site to deploy technology solutions alongside body expertise. faculty and student talent. On the same day, Eli Lilly

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and Co., one of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical companies, announced its new multi-billion dollar site in Lebanon, Ind., the first anchor of the 4,000-acre LEAP District announced by the Governor of the ‘Indiana Eric Holcomb and Commerce Secretary Brad Chambers and going through various stages of approval.

Once approved and fully developed, what we see is an exciting 65-mile stretch, bounded by the 16Tech campus in downtown Indianapolis on one side and the Purdue’s Discovery Park district in West Lafayette on the other. Right in the middle is Lebanon’s forward-looking development with Indiana’s strategic direction.

On the United States map, this is going to be a hard tech hallway. Hard tech is technology that touches hard things. Here are three examples:

  • Semiconductor manufacturing: The manufacturing stage and the advanced packaging stage, which promise significant value-added innovation, must be relocated and relocated to the United States.
  • Biopharmaceutical manufacturing: Advances in pharmaceutical manufacturing and storage must continue beyond the success of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Aeronautics and transport: From drones and electrified vertical take-off vehicles to the production of batteries and motors, we must create and make “America’s Smart Hub”.

Hard tech is perhaps less glamorous than virtual reality and machine learning coding. But at some point, technology still has to touch physical reality: chips, drugs, cars, and food. AI also needs to get “hard”: AI on hardware, AI on the physical edge of the network, and AI for things you can touch.

But why hard tech in the heart of the country? One of the main reasons is labour, the new “natural resource”. A workforce rooted in the DNA of manufacturing to make things and honed by digital technologies to make things in new ways.

Two days before the Indy 500 race, at the first World Economic Summit in Indiana, two initiatives were announced during the same session on semiconductors. One was the formation of a statewide task force, Accelerating Microelectronics Production and Development (AMPD), and the other was the Semiconductor Diploma Program (SDP) from Purdue.

There are a few distinct features regarding the recently launched SDP:

  • Content 6 in 1: Chemicals/materials, tools, design, manufacturing and packaging – all key steps in the semiconductor industry are included in an interdisciplinary curriculum, along with supply chain management.
  • Choice of identifiers: The degree program includes a range of degrees for the full spectrum of needed talent: Master of Science degree, stackable certificates at postgraduate level, Bachelor of Science minor or concentration; or associate degrees through partner Ivy Tech Community College.
  • Flexible modality: SDP offers residential and online programs, including an online suite of degrees and certificates dedicated to semiconductors.
  • Innovative delivery: Students will learn through the nanoHUB online learning platform and virtual labs, co-op and internship opportunities, and design-to-manufacture team projects.
  • Broad partnership: SDP is a cornerstone of collaboration with the Department of Defense’s Scalable Asymmetric Lifecyle Engagement (SCALE) program, the American Semiconductor Academy (ASA), and other workforce consortia engaged in the Creating Helpful Incentives program to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS).

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As Purdue Chairman Mitch Daniels said, “the need to restore autonomy to the semiconductor industry is both an economic priority and a national security imperative.” About 20 CEOs of major semiconductor companies have endorsed this effort to increase the talent pool in this critical industry. Developing talent for the foundation of the entire digital economy, SDP is also advised by a Board of Directors comprised of senior industry executives.

Advances in digital, modular and additive manufacturing, new materials and processes, and application sectors critical to this century’s economy are rewriting economic equations. In the new equations, hard tech will be less about labor cost and more about the speed of innovation. In central Indiana and its heartland neighbors, jobs, talent, and knowledge can be co-created along the hard-tech corridors we are building today.

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