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City Launches IoT Lab for Technology Innovation

IoT Lab-Fishers has signed on 50 members so far, with an opening date slated for this summer to begin Internet of Things-based research and development to serve manufacturing, farming and logistics.
By Claire Swedberg
Feb 24, 2017

The city of Fishers, Indiana, together with ClearObject as anchor tenant and consulting partner Indiana University, is opening a laboratory facility dedicated to research and development of Internet of Things-based technology. The IoT solutions may include any system with sensor-based data, including Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Wi-Fi, RFID, ZigBee and cellular transmissions. The new laboratory, known as IoT Lab-Fishers, is part of what the city calls Launch Fishers, aimed at bringing opportunities and business solutions to the city.

Fishers, a city of about 90,000 people, is located near Indianapolis. It is home to several technology companies, says Mayor Scott Fadness, and happens to reside in a state that is focused on industries specifically benefitting from IoT technology.

Mayor Scott Fadness
Approximately four years ago, Fadness says, the city began developing Launch Fishers, a comprehensive economic plan to foster an entrepreneurship culture. It dedicated a 52,000-square-foot space for co-working, that was designed with a coffee bar, meeting rooms and Internet access to allow software-as-a-service (Saas) and mobile app development companies to get their work done in a collaborative environment. "It's a space for entrepreneurial pursuits," Fadness says, adding that with the growing demand for IoT solutions, the city began considering another space specifically for IoT development.

ClearObject, an IoT-based company headquartered in Fishers, plans to open a second location within the lab, according to John McDonald, ClearObject's CEO. The firm is expected to have about 10 employees onsite. ClearObject is rooted in building and running private cloud service for data analytics and, more recently, opened a division focused on IoT solutions. It's not a coincidence, he adds, that ClearObject and the new IoT Lab will be based in the center of Indiana—a state, he says, that is at the heart of industries that make, move and grow things. That includes the manufacturing, logistics and farming industries. To remain competitive, McDonald says, companies in these sectors are looking to IoT technology to solve efficiency, safety and other challenges, using sensors and cloud-based data.

"With the Internet of Things, there's always a thing," McDonald states, "and companies need a place where those things—such as sensors—can be tested and developed, along with the systems that receive and manage the device data.

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