The Uplands Science and Technology Foundation (USTF) announced today the selection of Bryant Niehoff as the organization’s first permanent CEO. Niehoff is currently the Executive Director of the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) and has served on the USTF Board of Directors since its inception.
In this role, Niehoff will lead USTF and advance its mission to grow the WestGate Technology Park into a nationally-recognized innovation community. A significant focus of the role will be to build on the momentum generated by the $385 million microelectronics fabrication facility at WestGate that was announced by Governor Eric Holcomb on November 21, 2022. The facility will sit in Daviess County, where Niehoff played a significant role in attracting the development in his former role with DCEDC.
“WestGate is assuming an increasingly important role in the Indiana Uplands economy and it’s critical that USTF has a strong leader who can ensure that the park is ready to capitalize on the transformative opportunities that are at our door,” said Tina Peterson, the USTF Board Chair and Regional Opportunity Initiatives President and CEO.
“Bryant Niehoff has quickly established himself within our region and state as a leading economic development professional who brings significant expertise in land planning and placemaking, a natural ability to bring stakeholders together, and an intimate familiarity with WestGate and USTF. For these reasons, we believe he is an excellent choice to lead USTF.”
During his time with DCEDC, Niehoff led Daviess County’s efforts at WestGate and facilitated local business expansions such as the new TrueRx Health Strategists headquarters. He also structured public-private housing partnerships resulting in $37 million in investment and nearly 300 new and planned housing units. Niehoff also promoted investments in rural broadband and in downtown revitalization, such as the $3.1 million Commons project in downtown Washington. Prior to his role in Daviess County, Niehoff served as Planning Director for the City of Shelbyville, Indiana.
“I’m thrilled to take this next step and assume a more robust role in supporting the growing ecosystem at WestGate and NSA Crane,” said Niehoff. “Since its inception, WestGate has presented a tremendous opportunity for the three participating counties, the Indiana Uplands region, and the State of Indiana. With all of the momentum around the emerging technologies being driven by NSWC Crane, and their alignment with statewide economic development strategies, USTF will serve as a catalyst and convener to bring stakeholders together and guide the park to realize its full potential.”
Established in late 2021 by a consortium of key regional organizations, USTF is a nonprofit research foundation dedicated to enhancing the vitality of WestGate. WestGate is located outside the gates of Naval Support Activity Crane, the 3rd largest Naval installation in the world and home to one of Indiana’s largest concentrations of engineers, scientists, and technicians. As the state’s only certified tri-county tech park, WestGate@Crane is situated in the Indiana Uplands region, encompassing parts of Daviess, Greene, and Martin counties. The park is currently home to more than 50 organizations and more than 850 employees with expertise in technologies related to the defense and national security industry.
Niehoff will succeed Joe Carley, Indiana University’s Director for Economic Development, who served as the Interim CEO of the USTF from its inception. Carley will continue to play an active role in USTF and at WestGate in his role with IU.
Niehoff will start his new position on May 1, 2023.