New Indiana-based Applied Research Institute forms significant board; funds first major project

ARI Board Meeting 2

Governor Eric Holcomb, leaders from the state’s largest military asset, industry and research universities partner to accelerate technology commercialization

Leaders from Indiana government, the state’s largest military asset, industry and research universities have established the Applied Research Institute (ARI).
ARI will facilitate and manage collaborative research teams to pursue major federal grants and contracts and perform corporate-sponsored research that will generate technology transfer and commercialization in military defense and other sectors of Indiana’s economy.

Through ARI, organizations will have streamlined access to more than $1 billion in state-of-the-art laboratories, equipment and research facilities across Indiana including Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane), Indiana University, Purdue University and the Battery Innovation Center (BIC).

The ARI Board of Directors, which held its first meeting in Bloomington, Ind. on August 31, 2017, is comprised of the following:

  • Governor Eric Holcomb
  • General Gene Renuart, USAF (Retired) – ARI chairman
  • Phil Burkholder, president Defense Aerospace, North America, Rolls-Royce
  • Mitch Daniels, president, Purdue University
  • Steve Ferguson, chairman, Cook Group (past advisory board chairman)
  • Dr. Michael McRobbie, president, Indiana University
  • Dr. Brett Seidle, technical director, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (ex-officio)
  • Melanie Walker, president and CEO, Tsuchiya Group North America, TASUS Corporation

“The Applied Research Institute will activate economic growth in Indiana by combining and leveraging our state’s military, academic and industry resources,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said. “This partnership has strong potential to serve as the national model for regional development that benefits local and state economies.”

“Leveraging top research universities, industry partners and NSWC Crane, ARI will tackle real world problems that impact a number of areas including our national security,” Dr. Brett Seidle, technical director, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, said.

Institute to develop cutting-edge technologies included in counterfeit-resistant electronics and other high-tech applications

At its meeting, the ARI Board of Directors approved up to $3.5 million over the next two years for its first major project. The project is the development of trusted microelectronics, technology which is immune to a wide variety of emerging hardware and software-based attacks, is resistant to counterfeit and has applications in nearly all electronic devices. Trusted microelectronics have a number of applications that include advanced counterfeit detection systems that can show if the microelectronics imbedded in a device have been tampered with prior to installing them in an electronic system.

“Developing these types of advanced technologies will also create economic activity,” General Gene Renuart, USAF (Retired) and chairman of ARI, said. “It is ARI’s goal to work with industry partners to transfer our technologies to the marketplace.”

Representatives from NSWC Crane, Indiana University and Purdue University will provide big data and statistical analysis, secure manufacturing principles, hardware development and testing for the project.

“The new Applied Research Institute has enormous potential to further our collective contributions to improving Indiana’s economy and our national competitiveness,” Michael A. McRobbie, president, Indiana University, said. “Through this partnership, Indiana University and our state’s other leading universities will enhance their collaboration with NSWC Crane in areas where we share major research and technology strengths. In turn, this will enable Indiana to develop truly specialized expertise that sets it apart from other states and leads to the development of new and innovative technologies vital to key strategic sectors of our economy.”

“When we partner together, the talent and expertise we can assemble in Indiana is unmatched,” Mitch Daniels, president, Purdue University, said. “We look forward to continuing our efforts in building even more innovative technologies and creating centers of excellence that all Hoosiers can be proud of.”

To help launch the ARI, Lilly Endowment Inc. in 2015, awarded a grant of $16,225,000 to Central Indiana Corporate Partnership’s foundation, CICP Foundation, Inc., which supports the charitable and educational programs and activities of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP). $15 million of the grant funding was targeted to benefit the ARI initiative. Paul Mitchell, president and CEO of Energy Systems Network (ESN), a CICP initiative, has been engaged with key stakeholders coordinating the formation of ARI as well as in the development of a strategic plan for Southwest Central Indiana. The grant was one of three Lilly Endowment grants totaling $42 million for organizations to enhance economic development efforts in the 11-county region. ARI will be working closely with Regional Opportunity Initiatives, Inc. and Radius Indiana in a collaborative effort to continue to strengthen the region.

“Lilly Endowment is most pleased that ARI has assembled a board of directors of this caliber and distinction,” said Lilly Endowment Chairman, President and CEO, N. Clay Robbins. “Their leadership should ensure a successful launch for ARI.”

The ARI Board of Directors has also approved Dr. Bill Kiser as chief science and technology officer for ARI. Dr. Kiser formerly served as the director of the Penn State Electro-Optics Center in Freeport, Penn., where he was in charge of center operations and provided key technical support on a number of projects involving the U.S. Navy. Dr. Kiser received his Ph.D. in Medical/Health Physics at Purdue University and conducted his Post-Doctoral Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

About Applied Research Institute (ARI):

Applied Research Institute (ARI) is a non-profit research institute that brings together leaders from Indiana government, the state’s largest military asset, industry and research universities to facilitate and manage collaborative research teams to pursue major federal grants and contracts and perform corporate-sponsored research in participants’ areas of technical expertise. ARI’s initial focus will be on: trusted microelectronics technology and security; multi-spectral data fusion and security (cyber); high density power storage and management; and advanced material science. Work conducted through ARI accelerates technology commercialization that supports economic prosperity across Indiana with a specific focus on Southwest Central Indiana. For more information about ARI, contact Elizabeth Lerch at


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