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 agriculture and next-generation manufacturing.



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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.

Todd Miller
Todd Miller

Todd is the President and CEO of Myers Spring Company in Logansport, Indiana. Previously, Todd worked in Japan for a renowned industrial leader and was introduced to cutting-edge production techniques from Asia and Europe. Todd brings incredible leadership and manufacturing knowledge to our Board of Directors!

Johnny Park
Johnny Park

Johnny has been WHIN’s CEO since 2018.  

Prior to joining WHIN, Johnny founded, scaled and led a successful exit of Spensa Technologies, an ag tech company that helped growers better manage agronomic pests such as insects, weeds and disease with IoT-powered traps and data analytics. Spensa was named by Forbes as one of the Top 25 Most Innovative Ag-Tech Startups in 2017.  Before starting Spensa, Johnny was a faculty in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University where his research spanned various topics on robotics, machine learning and sensor networks. 

Johnny serves on the Boards of AgriNovus and IU Health West Central Region and he is a
Smart Manufacturing Fellow at Conexus Indiana.

Johnny received his BS, MS and Ph.D. degrees all from the School of Electrical and Computer
Engineering at Purdue University.

Gary Henriott
Gary Henriott

Gary is Chairman Emeritus of Henriott Group, Inc., an Insurance, Employee Benefit and Risk Management firm headquartered in Lafayette.  Gary is actively engaged in many community and regional projects.  He serves as the Chair on the WCR IU Health Board of Directors.  Gary also serves on the IU Health Foundation Board and is currently serving as Board Chair.  Gary is also the Board Chair of WHIN, President of the Board of Works and Public Safety for the City of Lafayette and is a member of Purdue’s Athletic Affairs Committee. Gary is an extremely integral member of the community and we are grateful to have him leading our Board of Directors.



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
Lilly Endowment
The Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette
Purdue University
Ivy Tech Community College