New Office Focuses On Attracting Defense Industry

The Office of Defense Development will be located in Bloomington.

Camp Atterbury

Photo: Courtesy of Camp Atterbury

Ariel view of Camp Atterbury. The new location of the defense development office was chosen because of its proximity to several bases in Indiana, including Atterbury.

The Indiana lieutenant governor recently announced the launch of a new state office designed to attract defense industry to Indiana and coordinate companies within the state.  The Office of Defense Development has several goals all focusing on boosting the defense industry in the state. But Director of Engagement Brian Blackwell says he’s particularly interested in the office’s promise to promote the commercialization of intellectual property the military develops.

“We would open our doors to industry, look for partnerships, look for the ability to share our IP. And then be a ready partner to test products and help the industry to test those products.”

He says the military would then benefit because when they need the products for warfare, they’d already have a manufacturer. The office will be located in Bloomington—a location the lieutenant governor says was chosen as a connecting point between several defense bases including Crane, Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex and Camp Atterbury.

But Science Applications International Corporation Vice President Tim Hendricks says he thinks the office will provide better communication between all defense facilities across the state—not just in South Central Indiana.

“There are disparate regions. The northeast region, of course we have what we have down here with some of the Guard bases and Rolls Royce. But this will give us a common voice, one voice.”

Contractors say they hope the economic boost will also alleviate some of the cuts expected from sequestration.

“I think it fits well with Indiana’s overall objectives. If you think about our strengths in advanced manufacturing. Much of the defense-related work is of the type that uses advanced manufacturing capabilities,” said Hendricks.

 

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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