WHIN

The Wabash Heartland Innovation Network is a consortium of 10 counties in north-central Indiana devoted to working together to fuel prosperity by harnessing the power of Internet-enabled sensors to develop our region into a global epicenter of digital agricultural and next-generation manufacturing.




Photo courtesy of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources

USING DATA TO HELP NORTH CENTRAL INDIANA THRIVE

It took 2 generations of farmers in the rural parts of the midwest to choose to adopt electricity about 100 years ago. We are still suffering in our country from the socio-economic divide caused by this lapse. There is another technology emerging with the same potential to change the world, data. In a similar way, the urban centers are already beginning to receive data and digital communication capabilities like broadband, and the rural areas are lagging behind…not just in streaming video, but in more socio-economic drivers like online education and online jobs as well. WHIN exists to keep what happened with electricity adoption from happening again with data adoption in rural America.

WHIN focuses on the region’s under-investment in what Brooking’s GPS Report calls "digitalization" in industry. Digitalization is the adoption of digital technology through things like IoT. The term Internet of Things (IoT) refers to everything that is the Internet (I) as we know it, applied to the physical world (T) as a “user.” It’s input/output devices to connect users to data, and all that data is networked to single location in the cloud where it can be analyzed to help those users make better decisions.

We do this by attracting and vetting technology providers, then working with them to lower the risk for our Alliance members to try out their innovations. And in the process all the data gets sent back to WHIN to be organized and made available for research so more technology providers can be created. The research data is what we call our Living Lab.

Data shows that digitalization is correlated with higher productivity, and higher productivity leads to more investment, and ultimately to a higher standard of living and quality of life. In the end, in much the same way southern California did for silicon 75 years ago, WHIN is building a self-sustaining, virtuous ecosystem around emerging technology pathways related to sensors and data. If we can get everything working together, and everyone benefitting, why wouldn’t commerce come to our Data Decagon in much the same way it has come to the Silicon Valley?

Wabash Heartland Innovation Network is focused upon serving 10 counties: Pulaski, White, Cass, Benton, Carroll, Tippecanoe, Warren, Fountain, Montgomery, and Clinton. By promoting smart technology throughout these 10 counties, WHIN is aiming to become the first recognized smart region in the nation.

WHIN's Living Lab

Direct investment in commercial users is just the beginning of how WHIN can provide value. In return for WHIN’s help and investment, users and tech companies agree to license data to WHIN that it can share. That data can help inform real-world research related to data measurement, data transmission, and data analytic technologies.

In a way we are reorganizing the innovation value chain. Rather than starting with lab research and leading to real-world applications, we are starting with collecting data from real-world applications and feeding it back to lab research.

For this reason, WHIN refers to its 4,321 square mile region as a Living Lab.


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Todd Miller, President/CEO of Myers Spring in Logansport, brings valuable manufacturing experience to the WHIN team and is a huge supporter of the Cass County community.

Todd Miller

Natasha Cox, Regional Vice President for Farm Credit Mid America, hails from Benton County and her background and experience in the ag industry is integral for the WHIN board.

Natasha Cox

David Luhman, Attorney with Hoffman, Luhman & Masson, PC, brings legal and community-minded background to the WHIN board.

Dave Luhman


10 counties. 2 sectors. 1 vision.

Wabash Heartland Innovation Network is focused upon serving 10 counties: Pulaski, White, Cass, Benton, Carroll, Tippecanoe, Warren, Fountain, Montgomery, and Clinton. By promoting smart technology throughout these 10 counties, WHIN is aiming to become the first recognized smart region in the nation.

Indiana State map
WHIN region mapnetwork
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