NSWC Crane to Offer Navy Technology for Commercial Applications


Entrepreneurs to license government IP free of charge, through PROPELS Accelerator

(Bloomington, March 1, 2022) – Today the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (NSWC Crane), in collaboration with The Mill, Dioltas and the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum (DEF) announced the launch of the PROPELS Accelerator. PROPELS offers teams of academics, entrepreneurs and small businesses an exciting opportunity to commercialize patented government technology.


“Scientists at NSWC Crane have invented some amazing technology, and while it’s great for the Navy, we believe that there are other use opportunities that can be explored,” explained Jenna Dix, Director of Technology Transfer at NSWC Crane.“We’re excited to see what kind of commercial applications can come from government-created tech.”


The new program will kick off with a Tech Expo at the Mill on April 14. NSWC Crane scientists will present the tech–what it is and how it’s being used by the Navy. Some examples of government-invented technology that will be showcased include: long-range heat detection, machine learning for “cleaning” data, assistive devices for low-light emergency response, and drone tracking technology.


Participants will then select one of the showcased technologies and develop a commercialization plan for a new product or platform during the six-week PROPELS Accelerator program that runs from May 4 through June 17.


“The Mill’s mission is to launch and accelerate startups,” said Pat East, Executive Director of The Mill, “and the technology at Crane provides an exceptional opportunity for entrepreneurs. PROPELS bridges the gap between cutting-edge innovators in the public and private sectors.”


Supporting the accelerator program are Dioltas, a defense-disruptive technologies strategic advisory, and the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum, a non-profit organization that promotes innovation in the national security community.


“This is exactly the type of event that will help introduce the Navy and its tremendous research and development capabilities to entrepreneurs looking for great new technologies,” said Mike Dodd, Dioltas Advisory Board Chairman. “We applaud NSWC Crane for their proactive approach to connecting with the business community.”


“At DEF we strive to break down barriers that often keep the government closed off from commercial entities,” said Heath Murray, Bloomington DEF Agora Lead. “PROPELS is the kind of event that not only breaks down those barriers, but also plants the seed for many future connections between entrepreneurs and the Navy.”


At the conclusion of the event, participants will be invited to pitch their ideas and compete for prizes at the Radius Indiana Crane IP Defense Innovation competition.


Learn more here about the PROPELS Accelerator.


The events are free, and complimentary hors d’oeuvre and drinks will be provided at the Tech Expo.


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About NSWC Crane:

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi-spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's Warfighter.


About The Mill:

The Mill is the heart of southern Indiana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and its largest coworking space. The Mill’s mission is to spark Bloomington’s innovation economy by launching and accelerating startups, and its vision is to become Indiana’s center of gravity for entrepreneurship.


About Dioltas:

Dioltas is a global firm dedicated to providing design, implementation processes of superior technologies and next-generation security solutions to governments, global corporations, and organizations. Dioltas advises public and private clients on all facets of business strategy, planning, development, management, marketing, directorship, and obtaining access to capital markets in exchange for equity stakes in the companies and/or management fees.



About DEF:

The Defense Entrepreneurs Forum (DEF) exists to inspire, connect and empower people committed to US national security through convening events, forging partnerships and delivery of tangible solutions. DEF does this in order to promote and enable a culture of innovation in the US national security community. DEF is an independent, 501(c)(3) registered, non-profit.