Our Projects

We solve technological challenges to allow organizations to operate more efficiently, safely, and constructively. Our projects span multiple sectors, including those below.

Sustainable Ag Systems

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Cybersecurity Solutions


Research Applications

Sustainable Agriculture Systems

Technology Development and Facilitation

Heartland develops, operates, and maintains multiple sustainable agriculture systems that incorporate economic analyses, offset payments, and carbon markets to encourage farmers to implement sustainable farming practices. Our tools enable farmers to compare and contrast their practices, economic results, and sustainability metrics against other farmers for the purpose of identifying optimized field-level practices. Our tools have been developed in partnership with the Illinois Corn Growers Association, Ecosystem Services Market Consortium, and Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District, and support farming throughout the United States and part of Canada.

Precision Conservation Management (PCM)

Platform development, O&M, data analytics, project support, and agronomic small and medium enterprises

Precision Conservation Management is the premier conservation program of the Illinois Corn Growers Association. Their primary goal is to integrate conservation practices and financial data to help farmers understand how specific management changes can impact both their environmental impact and their bottom line. Since the inception of the program in 2015, Heartland has developed the PCM data portal and supporting analytic, reporting, and project management tools for participating farmers, and provides agronomic specialist to help farmers implement sustainable farming while maintaining economic viability.

Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC)

Development, O&M, and continued enhancement of a comprehensive MMRV

Since 2020, Heartland has lead the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium development of the measurement, monitoring, reporting and verification (MMRV) platform for ESMC’s Eco-Harvest, a voluntary, next-generation national ecosystem services market program. Heartland developed ESMC’s digital producer portal and MMRV which is the data collection platform supporting Eco-Harvest projects. In May 2023, ESMC and Heartland signed a follow-on contract to continue Heartland’s data support activities.

Cybersecurity Solutions

Cybersecurity is a critical need for all organizations, large or small, for-profit or non-profit, government or private industry. And while there are many point or testing solutions, there is a significant lack of tools that help organizations operationalize sound, standardized cyber risk and management processes. Heartland has addressed this need with the development of the Cyber Secure Dashboard.

Cyber Secure Dashboard

Guiding organizations through complex federal cybersecurity standards/ regulations

Heartland developed a web-based cybersecurity dashboard demystifying challenging cybersecurity compliance processes and regulations set forth by the federal government. The Cyber Secure Dashboard operationalizes a sound, standardized cyber risk assessment and management process. It provides enterprises with both a process and the details necessary to comply with government mandated cybersecurity requirements for information systems that process and store controlled unclassified information (CUI). In addition, the Dashboard facilitates long-term compliance, cybersecurity awareness throughout the corporation, the sharing and vetting of an organization’s cybersecurity posture with all stakeholders, including government contracting officers, prime contractors, and insurance providers, and facilitates maintaining compliance through an evolving landscape of potential security threats.

Critical Infrastructure

We develop tools to support the National Infrastructure Protection Plan through applied research conducted at the Department of Homeland Security’s Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI) at the University of Illinois in the area of threat-based assessments of port infrastructure. We collaborate on prototyping tools to better understand and mitigate the possible effects of port disruptions and their potential impact on industry, economics, and supply chains.

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CIRI programmatic support

Supporting applied research & technology transition from academia to industry

Heartland provided technical and business support to the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute – a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence. As part of the University of Illinois, CIRI conducts research and education that enhances the resiliency of the nation’s critical infrastructures and the businesses and public entities that own and operate those assets and systems.

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Maritime Risk Assessment

Developing numerical tools to support the national infrastructure protection plan

Heartland is conducting applied research sponsored by the University of Illinois in the area of threat-based assessments of port infrastructure – prototyping tools to better understand and mitigate the possible effects of transportation system disruptions and their potential economic, supply chain, and industry impacts.

Research Applications

We convene applied research applications by engaging in scientific research and engineering development, providing and maintaining technology solutions, and facilitating and managing collaborative partnerships.

Software Commons

High Performance Computing Software & Systems

Heartland sponsored an internal research and development (IRAD) program to initiate the development of The Software Commons – a platform that will provide engineers, physicists, and other computational scientists with direct access to and use of the latest & most advanced academic, government, and private industry computational codes and tools. Using this resource, private & public organizations will ultimately be empowered to research, develop, share, and employ scientific & high performance computational codes while preserving proprietary methods, processes, and information.

Scientific Software Development

Portable, Hand-Held Spectroscopy

Heartland is developing software tools for SpectroClick’s portable spectroscopy device – a portable, accurate, consumer-easy chemical testing device. The technology lets citizen scientists immediately determine if lead or arsenic is present in drinking water. It enables farmers to determine whether fertilizer is needed in a field, or if soil is contaminated. A specialized app, using a webcam to capture data, processes the spectrum quickly, comprehensively, and with more flexibility and portability than has ever been available. SpectroClick’s AAH spectrometers are affordable, accurate, and innovative.

Unmanned Aerial Systems

Growing the Local Aviation Community

Heartland led a local group of businesses, entrepreneurs, and educational institutions to explore applications and collaborations for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). This led to a community effort to host the 2014 Aviation Innovation Conference at the University of Illinois – a conference designed to grow the local aviation industry by building a stronger aviation community. The Heartland team also facilitated collaborative efforts between Sinclair Community College’s Unmanned Aerial Systems Training Center and the University of Illinois.