Ohio University’s Digital Enterprise Collaboratory provides new Digital Transformation Center with cutting-edge technologies

Published: December 1, 2023 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University prioritizes research both inside the University and out, providing the University of Dayton Research Institute’s (UDRI) new Digital Transformation Center (DTC) with access to cutting-edge software tools to track work flows and its associated data throughout the product’s life cycle.

This new research center will serve as a “do-tank” (as opposed to a “think tank") for digital technologies. It features collaborative workspaces and offices, along with workstations, software, and a virtual and augmented reality space. OHIO’s portion of the DTC is branded as the Digital Enterprise Collaboratory (DEC) where OHIO is providing the capability to bring together people and solutions to help customers reshape their digital futures.

“We see digital enterprise initiatives as an essential strategy for every organization. As the first public university in Ohio and a highly active research institution, we believe that it is part of our ongoing mission to help our partners execute their mission more effectively,” according to Dr. Neil Littell, associate professor of engineering technology and management in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. “The DEC at Dayton is one major component of our overall strategy at Ohio University to continue to expand our capabilities, which currently serve our federal, corporate, and student partners. Concurrently with our DEC in Dayton, we are also forming a complementary DEC on the Athens campus to support digital internships, where OHIO students can participate in projects serving the state of Ohio.”

Dr. Neil Littell
Dr. Neil Littell speaks at the opening of the new Digital Transformation Center.

Working in close connection with the U.S. Air Force Digital Transformation Office, the DTC represents a commitment to the Air Force mission to harness the latest advances in digital technology and embark on a transformative journey that will shape the future of its operations. The DTC, which opened Nov. 8, serves as a dedicated space where government, industry and academia converge to collaborate, brainstorm and advance digital transformation in support of the Air Force mission. 

OHIO is a central partner in the effort to advance this new center and is applying the recently awarded federal appropriation for hardware and software upgrades and applications to assist the Air Force and their contractors to upskill their workforce. 

“The DTC will be key to the Air Force’s transformation to a digital future and OHIO’s DEC will be integral to the success of the center,” David Koonce, interim vice president of research and creative activity at OHIO, said. “The DTC will become a dynamic hub for digital engineering and innovation that will not only benefit the Air Force but also empower businesses and industries to thrive in this ever-evolving digital landscape.”

David Koonce DTC
Dr. David Koonce speaks at the opening of the new Digital Transformation Center.

The DTC has already seen a strong commitment from industry partners who have signed on as members, ready to collaborate and create new ideas that will propel digital transformation in government, academia and industry. Members include Vana Solutions, Field Aerospace, Psoas LLC, Deloite, Siemens, Sightline Ventures LLC, Ohio University, Axient Technologies, Peerless and Mile 2. 

“We are also excited that the DTC and the DEC will play a greater role in the development of Ohio University’s students, faculty, and staff and that we have the opportunity to build a peer DEC right here on the Athens campus," Koonce added.