Trine Launches $8 Million Innovation Effort

August 20th, 2012

News Coverage:

August 20, 2012

News Release

ANGOLA, Ind. – Trine University is excited to unveil Innovation One, a venture that brings ideas to market by providing expertise and services in a number of areas.

Trine University is investing more than $8 million in Innovation One to support new and existing business across the region along with entrepreneurs looking to bring new ideas to market. Construction of a new laboratory, the Jim and Joan Bock Center for Innovation & Research, will begin in September and will serve as another resource to support the program.

“When someone has an idea – anyone – we want to help them. Their idea could be the beginning of a successful business that creates new jobs. When they have a problem or special needs, we want to assist them in resolving those issues,” said senior vice president Michael Bock.

“Trine has been an incredible partner in recognizing the need for growth in Northeast Indiana,” said John Sampson, president and chief executive officer of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. “We are thrilled to see their latest endeavor to support entrepreneurship; it aligns perfectly with the efforts of Vision 2020 and the Regional Opportunities Council to cultivate entrepreneurship and build a globally competitive economy.”

Tom DeAgostino, an engineer with a reputation for exceeding expectations and taking on new challenges, is leading Innovation One as the director of the Technology Commercialization Lab.

“He is experienced, insightful, professional and approachable. People appreciate his enthusiasm and ability to get things done,” Bock said.

DeAgostino earned a Master of Science in engineering science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and gained extensive prototyping, product design and development experience over the course of 25 years at Ford Motor Co. and General Motors. He joined Trine’s Allen School of Engineering & Technology’s Design Engineering Technology Department in the fall of 2009.

DeAgostino described Innovation One as an incubator for creativity. He is excited to engage students, as well as work with faculty experts, to help solve problems, whether it’s designing a new component for the automobile industry or marketing a new product.

“Not only will Innovation One help businesses and inventive people, but our students as well. This initiative improves the educational experience for our students by giving them real-world problems to solve, right here on campus,” DeAgostino said.

Robert Clark, entrepreneur in residence with Elevate Ventures, believes Innovation One will be a great resource for entrepreneurs and companies that Elevate Ventures already works with in northeast Indiana. Elevate Ventures provides funding, helps entrepreneurs secure grants and co-invests in start-up companies.

“Trine University has been a leader in providing entrepreneurial opportunities for their students, faculty and the community," Clark said.
University officials believe Innovation One will be an engine for economic growth throughout the tri-state region and will create new jobs, while diversifying the employment base. Locally, Rieke Corp. and Metal Technologies Inc., both in Auburn, have joined the initiative as corporate partners. In addition, Innovation One is providing services to or has already assisted Dwyer Instrumentation, Dometic, Deister Machine, Rieke Packaging Systems, Burr Oak Tool in Sturgis, Michigan and the City of Angola. Innovation One has also agreed to support and sponsor four entrepreneurs with their projects and a Scotland-based company.

For more information about Innovation One, contact DeAgostino at or visit

Source: Trine University