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IU launches tech acceleration program with support from National Security Innovation Network

For Immediate Release Jan 14, 2021

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana University has launched its Academic Accelerator program to promote the development of new high-tech ventures.

The initiative launched in partnership with the National Security Innovation Network, a program within the U.S. Department of Defense, and Eccalon, a leading research and technology commercialization company. IU is one of four universities in the inaugural cohort designed to accelerate new technology, along with Arizona State University; University of California, Berkeley; and Washington University in St. Louis.

The Academic Accelerator program will:

  • Support promising applied-research projects on their path to real-world applications in commercial and defense settings.
  • Leverage commercialization resources from IU offices and connect IU researchers to potential end users to ensure their ventures meet customers’ needs.
  • Take advantage of IU’s strong partnerships in the regional defense and entrepreneurship ecosystems to ensure that participants have ample access to external funding, talent and customers.

Expected outcomes for the A2 project include the development of new project sponsors and contract vehicles, the adoption by partners to deploy the technologies, and the creation of new business entities.

IU Vice President for Government Relations and Economic Engagement Bill Stephan said the partnership matches the state’s and the region’s goals.

“In February, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb set a goal to triple federal defense investment in the state,” Stephan said. “By partnering with NSIN and Eccalon to launch the Academic Accelerator program, Indiana University is growing the state’s innovation economy, strengthening its connection to defense partners and ensuring that it continues to produce a strong pipeline of technology startups.”

The Academic Accelerator is an outgrowth of IU’s partnership with NSIN that launched in 2019. NSIN works with nontraditional problem-solvers within the academic and early-stage venture communities to generate and accelerate new solutions to national-security challenges.

“IU’s leading role in research related to national security and defense technologies has grown substantially in recent years. This new agreement specifically leverages the university’s strengths in high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as areas of quantum information science,” said Jeffrey Zaleski, interim vice provost for research at IU Bloomington and the primary investigator for the Academic Accelerator program.

The award will enable innovative multidisciplinary research teams at IU to cultivate new partnerships and advance technologies vital to national-security interests. The program will also leverage partnerships, customer discovery, and alignment of resources and expertise to ensure research projects mature into relevant solutions for commercial and government clients.

“The Indiana innovation defense ecosystem is a national leader, and this accelerator investment in IU is vital to that continued success,” said Mike Dodd, NSIN’s university program director for Indiana University. “In just over a year, this partnership has yielded substantial results, and this ensures continued forward progress.”

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