Sep 22, 2022

Indiana's Future-Focused Economy Featured at Fast Company's Innovation Festival

Indiana’s innovation ecosystem was front and center this week at the 8th annual Fast Company Innovation Festival in New York City. As a sponsor of this year’s festival, themed “Innovation Unbound,” the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) highlighted the state’s forward-looking economy alongside thousands of leading brands, creators and innovators, positioning Indiana as a global destination for investment and technological advancement.

“Innovation is thriving here in Indiana as industry leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers and future talent collaborate to create new solutions and products that will be critical to tomorrow’s economy,” said Salena Scardina, IEDC executive vice president of external engagement. “As a growing leader in future-driven industries like autonomous and electric vehicles, semiconductors, hydrogen, solar energy and agbiosciences, sharing Indiana’s story to and alongside global innovators and industry leaders is a key part of our strategy to attract first-of-its-kind investments and build the global economy we want that will better the lives of Hoosiers for years to come.”  



The Innovation Festival, hosted September 19-22, designed bold conversations, hands-on workshops and purposeful networking to effect positive change in forward-thinking industries, from finance and consumer technology to the metaverse, cloud computing and more. Indiana, which was recently named a global top 40 emerging ecosystem by Startup Genome, was featured alongside industry leaders and companies like Apple, Beyond Meat, Microsoft, Meta, PayPal, Skillsoft, Soundcloud, Twitter and WhatsApp.

On Wednesday, the IEDC led a thought-provoking session on sustainability and the future of solar energy titled, “Energizing Innovation: Collaborating Toward the Future of Clean Energy.” Panelists – including David Roberts, IEDC EVP of entrepreneurship and innovation; Nick Cohen, CEO of Doral Renewables LLC; and Wan Si Tang, advanced battery manufacturing team leader at The Battery Innovation Center – discussed how and why Indiana has become fertile ground for solar growth, examining the current and future impacts on energy consumption, the environment, businesses and people.
"In Indiana, we’re seeing breakthrough investments not just in solar and wind, but in the storage industry, which enables a higher and higher concentration of renewables in the grid responsibly,” said Roberts. “Indiana is working hard to attract companies like Doral that are supporting Indiana’s move toward more clean energy sources.”

 Indiana is fourth in the nation for solar growth, with construction of Doral Renewables’ $1.5 billion solar farm project – one of the nation’s largest – currently underway. 

In addition to solar power and green energy, the panel also explored how technological advancements in this industry are propelling innovation alongside new and future-looking industries growing in Indiana, such as electric and autonomous vehicles, semiconductor fabrication and design, life sciences and industry 4.0. This focus on innovation and building the economy of the future makes Indiana an ideal partner for Fast Company, one of the leading technology influencers with a strong global following.