Jim and Joan Bock Center for
Biomed and Innovation

We are known as an institution that embraces change and brings visions into focus. We do not just talk about them. It’s fair to say that we have a board of trustees who share the same mindset. On October 5, a groundbreaking ceremony took place for the new The Jim and Joan Bock Center for Biomed and Innovation.

Shown, from left, Jerry Allen, Jack Shaw, Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., Joan Bock, Jim Bock, Rick James (Metal Technologies), Lynn Brooks (Rieke Corp.), Jim Ingledue (JICI), Ken Wilson (JICI) and Mike Bock (Senior VP)

A couple years ago, trustee and 1954 ME alumnus Jim Bock, and his wife, Joan, gifted $1 million to help launch this center, with goals of allowing people to experience biomedical engineering and innovation and affording students the chance to experience education at a whole new level. The initial plan was to renovate the aero building, but as time progressed, more people caught Trine’s innovative vision for the future. Metal Technologies Inc., Rieke Corp. and others saw the university’s vision.

Since January, we have purchased or acquired over $2.5 million in software and new equipment. Engineering faculty already are using this equipment to assist area industry, as well as further engage students in project collaboration.

This grand facility will house our growing biomedical engineering program and research labs and equipment. Also, our cast metals program, which is among the top undergraduate programs in North America, will be expanded. A new plastics program will be created as a direct result of new partnerships recently formed with business and industry.

The most significant aspect of this project is the creation of Innovation One, which is an incubator for creativity, invention and design that will improve education through experiential learning and foster economic development by supporting new and existing businesses.

Innovation One will develop, implement and manage partnerships, external engagements, business plans, growth and sustainability. It will serve as a catalyst for the university to partner with the private and public sectors to launch ideas. The university will now assist in the development of ideas in an environment with expert advice close at hand, complemented by multiple resources.

The premise for the Technology Commercialization Lab (TCL) – a division of Innovation One – is simple: As new ideas, products and technologies are presented, Trine students, faculty and other experts will assist in the development of the ideas, turning them into real products. The TCL also will assist existing business with research and development and other business and engineering needs. Innovation One is providing services to or has already assisted Dwyer Instrumentation, Dometic, Deister Machine, Rieke Packaging Systems and Burr Oak Tool in Sturgis, Mich.

That’s what we’re preparing our students for. It’s all about giving students opportunities on campus to learn and to compete in a global market place. It’s about giving local industry someone they can turn to for help. It’s about thinking for the future and giving students an exceptional educational experience.

With our new Jim and Joan Bock Center for Biomed and Innovation we will continue to challenge and prepare students, provide limitless opportunities for faculty and support rapidly expanding markets in communities worldwide. The possibilities are infinite — all you have to do is catch the vision.

For more information about Innovation1 - go to innovation1.org