Life at the Indiana IoT Lab
Shedding light on some of the goings-on here at our new home base.
Meet Jason, the Executive Director
Executive Director Jason Pennington joined the Indiana IoT Lab in July. He is excited to grow the Lab’s impact in the community and is working hard to address the needs of the Indiana IoT Lab members and their business partners.
Jason has more than 20 years of experience in the process automation industry, specifically in the area of applying sensors and software in a variety of industrial, agricultural, and municipal sectors. He’s successfully held leadership, management, and business development positions in his vast tenure with national and global divisions of Endress + Hauser.
IoT Lab Vision
When asked about his vision for the IoT Lab, Jason said he hopes that this will be more than just a coworking space. Still in its early stages, the lab houses 10 in-house companies and an impressive array of high-tech equipment, including 3D Printers, a Laser Cutter, CNC mills and network access to both LoRa and 5G ecosystems. In addition to an executive director and talented marketing manager, the space will be adding a shop manager to its growing professional staff. Jason hopes that the shop manager will serve as a resource to Lab members, providing training, maintaining equipment and fielding questions.
In terms of what he believes this lab can bring to the community, Jason explained, “In Indiana we make things, we move things and we grow things. Indiana is the highest density manufacturing state, and a supply chain and logistics hub of the midwest.” Agriculture, manufacturing and supply chain are three of the fastest-growing, IoT-related industries, and many of the lab members feel the tech hub has a lot to offer in Central Indiana.
Jason believes it is important to spend as much face to face time with tenants and members as possible, carving out mutual goals with the companies that are here on a daily basis. In the end, he hopes this space will serve as a breeding ground for collaborations and transformative tech projects that have a real impact, both locally and globally.
Bringing Big Names to Fishers
“In some cases, companies will come in with a project idea and they don’t know what they need yet. So to be able to put them in front of some of our firms and help them find what they need is a big deal. Outside Source can talk to them about user interface and user experience, Flexware can address custom hardware needs, and Clear Object can help them understand the power of the cloud in terms of scalability. It’s great to have all of those subject matter experts in house.”
-Jason Pennington, Indiana IoT Lab Director
Every day in the Lab is different for the in-house staff. Some days they are hosting Fortune 500 CIOs to talk about the future of IT infrastructure, and other days they are taking out the trash. Recently, the Lab hosted a Comcast-sponsored event where celebrity chef Robert Irvine debuted new IoT enabled kitchen equipment, and over the summer the Lab welcomed a group of academics from Lima Peru visiting with Purdue University.
Right now, the Indiana IoT Lab is still in the ramp-up phase, but the members and leadership team have a vision of what this space can bring to the community. In the meantime, Jason is focused on taking as much internal and external feedback as possible as he works to improve the experience for everyone involved.