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Uplands Science and Technology Foundation provides update at CRDG Key Leader Series

WESTGATE@CRANE Technology Park, (Odon) Indiana (Feb. 7, 2023) — Crane Regional Defense Group (CRDG) hosted its first Key Leader Series of 2023 at WestGate Academy Friday, February 3. Topics included the CRDG 2022 annual report briefing as well as a feature presentation from the Uplands Science and Technology Foundation (USTF).

Keynote speakers Joe Carley and Tina Peterson provided attendees with an update on USTF, a nonprofit research foundation focused on the development of WestGate Technology Park. Carley is a director for economic development at Indiana University and the director for strategic partnerships at the IU Center for Rural Engagement. He also serves as the interim CEO for USTF. Peterson, who joined Carley to present, is the President and CEO of Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI) and USTF board member.

USTF was created to help WestGate@Crane Technology Park become an innovation community for the Indiana Uplands, an 11-country region in Southwest Central Indiana. Already home to more than 50 companies, including both Fortune 500 firms and tech startups, USTF is planning a future where people come to WestGate not just to work, but also to dine, shop, recreate and live. Its mission and initiatives directly align with CRDG and its objective to enhance the strategic value of Naval Support Activity Crane, as well as strengthen the economic prosperity of the region.

“Following the completion of the 2021 WestGate Master Plan, it became clear that we needed more operational capacity to lead the development of the tech park and its industry base,” said Carley. “It’s an exciting time for USTF, as we help guide the investment of $10 million in infrastructure improvements at WestGate. USTF looks forward to using these investments to strengthen our ties to partners like CRDG and to help drive new opportunities that will benefit the entire region.”

Kent Parisien, CRDG chairman, shared the annual report which highlighted successes and challenges throughout the past year as well as plans for future growth and key initiatives. The organization noted a major accomplishment in membership, having gained over 40 members since its establishment and surpassing its ambitious goal. CRDG is doubling-down on the goal, aiming for 80 members by the end of 2023. Other areas of focus included:

● The establishment and success of events such as the Key Leader Series, Connect to Crane, and the Congressional Reception in Washington D.C.

● The planning of a new recurring event, Connect to Mission, to bring together defense contractors and feature various departments at NSWC Crane..

● The success of legislative initiatives, specifically its involvement with the Indiana Defense Task Force (IDTF).

“2022 was a fantastic year for growth and overall awareness, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to provide further value to members and continue our outreach efforts,” said Parisien. “There are big plans in place for the future of CRDG and I’m proud to be a part of the journey.”

CRDG’s first Connect to Mission event featuring NSWC Crane’s Spectrum Warfare Systems Department will be held Tuesday, Feb. 7 at WestGate Academy. To view the 2022 Annual Report, learn more about CRDG, register for the next event or become a member, visit!


About the Crane Regional Defense Group

Crane Regional Defense Group is a citizen-led committee that creates partnerships between chambers of commerce, county councils, financial institutions and business leaders to preserve the strategic value of Crane by supporting local outreach and legislative initiatives that protect military installations in the region and state, and leverage the installation’s potential to bring economic growth to Southern Indiana.

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