Indiana could become one of 20 tech hubs designated in federal legislation passed last year to increase investment in innovation and technology.
U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) helped author the CHIPS and Science Act, which allots $10 billion for technology advancements to 20 regions across the country.
Speaking at a press conference at 16 Tech, an innovation hub in Indianapolis on Tuesday, Young said, if Indiana is designated as one of these areas, it could jumpstart innovation and technology investments in the state.
“We need to invest in these individuals, we need to invest in their places, and we need to make those investments strategically so that we can not only maximize growth, but bring everyone along as we do so which in the end is the only way to maximize growth that will make us more resilient economically,” he said.
Young said the regions that receive this funding will use it for training workforces in innovation and technology industries. He said states that receive this funding will also attract outside parties to the area, which could further increase investments.
“More startups will be established in that designated area, in a place like this geography,” he said. “More investors, private investors, will flock to Indiana if they want to invest in that particular area and more innovation will occur.”
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Emily Krueger is the president and CEO of 16 Tech. She said potential investment in these areas will be helpful across industries.
“Oftentimes when people hear tech, they think software,” Krueger said. “And I think one of the ambitions and objectives of this legislation is to create opportunities for the tech enablement of other industries.”
Krueger said the technology her company promotes stretches far beyond software, and is centered around life sciences, innovation and entrepreneurship.
She said Indiana is one of the most manufacturing-intensive states in the nation, and much of the technology her organization works with is centered around these innovations.
Alejandra Y. Castillo, U.S. assistant secretary of commerce for economic development, spoke about the importance of fostering a strong workforce.
She said states that receive this funding will likely see improvements in their workforces as well.
“This program is to make sure that not only are we addressing technology and innovation, but in tandem, addressing the issues of workforce development,” Castillo said.
She explained this program will also help the economy in these regions.
“It's also an opportunity to make sure that we are designing and envisioning the future economy of our nation, both from an economic development perspective, but also from a global competitiveness perspective,” Castillo said.
The program is currently in its early stages.
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