While many facilities focused on entrepreneurship and innovation are relative newcomers, the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (The NIIC) has been leading in this space since 2000.

We’ve profiled the organization and companies/ideas emerging from within its walls at various times over the years. Big news came in late December with the announcement of federal Economic Development Administration funding to help launch a health-based Internet of Things lab.

It’s officially known as the Indiana Connected Health IoT Lab/Network. (The state opened its first IoT lab, focused on manufacturing, in early 2018 in Fishers). Karl LaPan, leader of The NIIC since its inception, explains.

“This is an incredible opportunity to globally advance and connect our health care assets in Indiana. Northeast Indiana is well positioned to house the Connected Health IoT Lab/Network, given its large health-related market clusters of medical devices, insurance and health care supply chain companies.

“We look forward to collaborating with our founding partners and innovative entities statewide to establish a best in class lab,” he continues. “Our programming and infrastructure will provide entrepreneurs, business builders, larger corporations and interested groups with innovative IoT ideas with resources, tools and networks to develop those ideas into innovative products, new or expanded businesses and new markets.”

The Lab will soon be looking for interested companies and individuals who want to be a part of this effort to expand their capabilities and grow their businesses. LaPan says a Proof-of-Concept Center will pilot and experiment with innovative ideas, to connect the dots to improving the patient experience and dealing with the problems and pains experienced in today’s health care industry.

Partners include the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Purdue University Fort Wayne, Indiana Tech, the Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation, Indiana University Research and Technology Corp. and others.

To learn more, support or be part of the Indiana Connected Health IoT Lab/Network, contact Mike Fritsch, Director of Revenue Development & Entrepreneur in Residence at The NIIC, at [email protected] or call (260) 407-6442.

Bill Waltz is vice president of taxation & public finance for the Indiana Chamber. He is also an attorney and has been with the organization for nearly 15 years.