Life sciences companies have been alive and well in Indiana for quite a long time (Lilly alone has been around for nearly 136 years). But 10 years ago today, a true life sciences community was born.
A decade later, the results are staggering.
Ten years ago today, BioCrossroads came into existence. For those of you outside Indiana, BioCrossroads has become a state treasure - a life sciences initiative that has brought together institutions like Lilly, the Indiana University Medical School, Dow Agro, and others to work in a more collaborate environment. Equally important, BioCrossroads has attracted millions of dollars in venture capital funding for Indiana - helping to produce nearly 300 life sciences startup companies over the last 10 years.
Bart Peterson, Lilly's senior vice president of corporate affairs, was mayor of Indianapolis when BioCrossroads was conceived and launched. Making a good life sciences community even better, he said, was a core goal of the city.
"As much as any organization, BioCrossroads has driven Indiana's emergence as a life sciences leader over the last decade," Bart said. "As a state, we already had amazing resources -- from a nationally recognized medical school to global leaders in medical innovation and health care. BioCrossroads has facilitated stronger relationships among existing companies while enhancing the visibility of what our state offers."
A letter in today's Indianapolis Star
from several local leaders, including Lilly's Darren Carroll, a BioCrossroads board member and our vice president of business development, hits many of the highlights. The state hit a high note last summer when The Wall Street Journal-- in a feature about regional hubs -- listed Indianapolis as the hot life sciences hub nationally. More than 50,000 direct jobs in Indiana, along with another 105,00 indirect jobs, are in the life sciences - accounting for a $44 billion impact on the state's economy. Over the last 10 years, life sciences employment in Indiana has grown by 21 percent. In a state that once had 550 life sciences companies, we now have 825.
Today's celebration is a good one, and an important one. However, rather than focusing too much on the past, we need to look ahead to the next 10 years. Will we continue having the right environment to spur innovation and life sciences startup companies? Will leaders in state capitols, Congress, and the White House embrace medical innovation in the way they insist they do? The next 10 years are as important as the last 10.