The South Bend - Elkhart region, bolstered and inspired by its rich history in innovation, entrepreneurship, and fortitude and supported by a transformational Lilly Endowment grant, has taken the bold step to scale and formalize the regional innovation ecosystem with the launch of the Labs for Industry Futures and Transformation (LIFT) Network, and the associated iNDustry Labs at Notre Dame.
The LIFT Network brings together business, community and educational partners in new and innovative ways centered on creating a diversified economy of the future based on technology and advanced manufacturing. By connecting cutting-edge expertise, technologies, workforce development programs, and innovation-based facilities for collaboration across education, community and industry partners, the LIFT Network supports the region through the transformation to an increasingly digital and automated future, enhancing the current manufacturing base with new business models, technologies and tailored workforce training programs while accelerating new high- tech sector growth in the region. In addition to the implementation team, an executive steering committee as well as several regional advisory councils have been created to help inform strategic investments throughout the LIFT Network.
The Executive Steering Committee will oversee the implementation and stewardship of the catalyzing grant from the Lilly Endowment during the five year grant implementation period.
Dr. Thomas Burish
Dr. David Balkin
Executive Vice President
Faculty Director, iNDustry Labs
Dr. Pete McCown
VP & Associate Provost for Innovation
Associate Vice President - Economic Development
Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives
The Industry Advisory Council comprised of regional leaders from the mobility industry cluster was formed to provide advice and expertise for the LIFT Network and iNDustry Labs.
Tom Fuja, Chair
iNDustry Labs Director
Founder & CEO
Founder & Managing Partner
Senior VP of Administration & Human Resources
President and CEO
VP of Sales & Board of Directors Officer
A key advisory body to the LIFT Executive steering Committee is the South Bend Elkhart Regional Partnership Board, as well as its constituent advisory committees.
The Partnership Board is responsible for providing strategic leadership and oversight of the region’s collaborative Economic Development Plan.Learn more
The following higher education institutions are part of the South Bend Elkhart Regional Partnership’s Higher Education Advisory Council and are key LIFT Network partners. Together, the institutions foster collaboration opportunities and identify challenges and oppor tunities common to higher education in the region. The Council is a key venue tosupport inter-institutional experiential learning opportunities such as capstone projects with students from multipleinstitutions, as well as a resource to source and implement educational programs in response to needs identified by regional employers.learn more