Trine Moving Ahead with Research Center

August 20th, 2012

News Coverage:
KPC News

Trine Moving Ahead with Research Center

By Linda Lipp,

Monday, August 20, 2012, 10:49 am

ANGOLA — Trine University will move ahead with plans for a research center and business incubator on its main campus — without waiting for a decision on a proposed $2-million investment from the city of Angola.
The Aero Building on campus will be torn down the week of Sept. 3 to make way for the new Jim and Joan Bock Center for Innovation & Research. Construction of the new facility will begin the same month.
“We’ve decided to go ahead and launch,” said Michael Bock, senior vice president of Trine, in a phone interview Monday.
The cost of the new program and center, dubbed Innovation One, is estimated at $8 million.
Rieke Corp. and Metal Technologies Inc., both in Auburn, have signed on as corporate partners. Trine is talking to the city of Sturgis, Mich., about coming on board as a corporate partner. That option also will be left open to the city of Angola, Bock said.
Initially, the center will be staffed with current faculty members. Engineer Tom DeAgostino, who joined Trine in 2009, will be the director of the Technology Commercialization Lab.
In a statement released Monday, DeAgostino described Innovation One as an incubator for creativity. It will bring together students and faculty members to help solve problems, whether it’s designing a new component for the automobile industry or marketing a new product.
“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,” Bock said in the statement.
Innovation One is providing services to, or has already assisted; Dwyer Instrumentation, Dometic, Deister Machine, Rieke, Burr Oak Tool (Sturgis, Mich.) and the city of Angola. Innovation One has also agreed to support and sponsor four entrepreneurs with their projects and a Scotland-based company.
The Angola City Council has not yet made a decision on whether to use $2 million in Major Moves funds — received from the lease of the Indiana Toll Road — to support the project.