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Northeast Indiana Innovation Center receives grant for health lab-network

January 2nd, 2019

Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly

A Fort Wayne nonprofit entrepreneur incubator is receiving a three-year $750,000 grant to create another option for individuals and businesses in the health field.

The Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, 3201 Stellhorn Road, will use the money to create the Indiana Connected Health IoT Lab/Network.

Health IoT describes health-related technologies where just about anything can be connected, communicated and used remotely in an intelligent way, according to a statement released Dec. 19.

NIIC is one of 40 organizations from 28 states and two territories to receive funding to create and expand the cluster-focused commercialization program under the Economic Development Administration 2018 Regional Innovation Strategies Program.

NIIC founding partners, local corporations and foundations are providing the required local matching funds, including Indiana Economic Development Corp., Indiana Economic Development Corp., Indiana Tech, Purdue University Fort Wayne and Indiana University Research and Technology Corp.

“This is an incredible opportunity to globally advance and connect our health care assets in Indiana,” Karl R. LaPan, NIIC president and CEO, said in the statement. “We look forward to collaborating with our founding partners and innovative entities statewide to establish a best-in-class lab. 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.

John Sampson, CEO and president of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, said in the statement, “This grant award from the EDA showcases the strong forward momentum of northeast Indiana, the importance of a focus on technology in all industries and the incredible collaboration that takes place in this region.”

LaPan said, “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.”

NIIC will also provide business coaching and help to find sources to capital, he said.

“As the world becomes more digitally interconnected, Indiana is focused on embracing innovation and technology development to help diversify its economy and fuel industry growth,” said David Roberts, chief innovation officer of Indiana Economic Development Corp., in the statement. “As a global leader in life sciences and medical devices, it’s critical that we continue to create an ecosystem that allows health care-focused businesses and entrepreneurs to develop innovative ideas and propel new products to market in Indiana.”

Northeast Indiana is home to three of the world’s largest orthopedics companies.