The last week has brought positive stories from several areas of the Indiana economy that are represented by CICP initiatives – anecdotal evidence that these industry clusters continue to represent our best prospects for future growth.
Last week, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) officials traveled to Indianapolis-based EnerDel to meet with company officials and representatives of Central Indiana’s clean technology industry, recognizing our region’s emerging leadership position in vehicle electrification.
EnerDel, the only U.S. manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion batteries for hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles, received a $118.5 million grant from the Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in August. EnerDel and other partners have also joined in a major demonstration project of electric vehicles in the Greater Indianapolis region, dubbed Project Plug-IN, under the auspices of CICP’s Energy Systems Network (ESN) initiative.
The DOE team led by Gil Sperling, Senior Advisor to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, highlighted both developments, applauding EnerDel’s role in enhancing U.S. innovation and manufacturing capacity in clean energy and recognizing Project Plug-IN as an important initiative that will help make plug-in electric vehicles a practical choice for the American driver. Indiana’s growing ‘green vehicle’ industry represents a great opportunity for both our energy and advanced manufacturing sectors.
In logistics, s2f Worldwide, a third-party logistics and supply chain service provider, chose to locate its operations in Plainfield this week, a deal projected to create 250 new jobs by 2013. Central Indiana continues to strengthen our position as a global distribution hub, leveraging our strong infrastructure and inherent geographic advantages into new logistics opportunities. Our Conexus Indiana initiative is poised to release a comprehensive logistics strategic plan for the state, and is also working to expand intermodal capabilities at the Avon railyard in Hendricks County, putting the region in an even stronger position going forward.
Indiana continues to rank among the top ten states in logistics employment per capita – these efforts are paying off in good jobs for Hoosiers.
And finally, in technology, I was struck by an interview on Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick with Bill Godfrey, Chairman of on-demand marketing software provider Aprimo. Godfrey asserts that Indiana is becoming a market leader in the e-marketing arena, with companies like ExactTarget, ChaCha, Compendium, Cantaloupe and others joining Aprimo here. Jim Jay, President of our TechPoint initiative, wrote a piece on this very topic at about this time last year – check it out here.
And speaking of TechPoint, the organization has extended the deadline for its Mira Awards, celebrating Indiana’s high-tech success stories – go here to nominate an Indiana technology innovator today.
Spring is finally right around the corner - to belabor a metaphor, stories like these appearing with greater frequency seem to foreshadow an economic thaw for Indiana to match the warming weather.