SOUTH BEND — As part of the ongoing efforts to transform South Bend into a “smart” city on the cutting edge of information technology usage, a new center with a focus on solving problems and improving efficiency in business and in the public sector will be established at Ignition Park.
The Technology Resource Center (TRC) will focus on connecting different players in the local economy with tools to collect, analyze and use data to improve the way they function and encouraging collaboration across education, business, public service and nonprofit sectors.
The city’s Redevelopment Commission approved $2.7 million to develop the Technology Resource Center at the Catalyst Two building of Ignition Park, to help prepare the city and business for the future economy by using data collection and analysis to improve efficiency. The center is also planned as a meeting place for workshops and groups to come together and tackle problems using new technology.
“It makes a lot of sense, this is something in need here,” said Santiago Garces, the city’s chief innovation officer.
In April 2017, the Redevelopment Commission approved $3 million to pay for the center, contingent on the city and the University of Notre Dame winning a $3.4 million Indiana Economic Development Corp. grant for the development of the Platform for Advanced Wireless Research, or a federal grant that could have yielded up to $20 million.
Although the city didn’t win the state or federal grant money, it still plans to move forward with the development of the Technology Resource Center and is actively seeking out grants and other opportunities, said project manager Jacob Burnett.