INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana University is announcing today the creation of a dedicated science and technology corridor in Indianapolis, which will advance STEM education and curriculum for Hoosiers and accelerate IUPUI, and the future IU Indianapolis, as one of the nation’s leading urban public research universities. The corridor will complement the large and growing science and technology ecosystem in downtown Indianapolis, which includes 16 Tech Innovation District and the campuses of leading Indiana companies. It also presents an opportunity for continued collaboration between IU and Purdue University.
The Indiana University Science and Technology Corridor — to be located at Michigan and West streets, as part of what will be IU Indianapolis (now IUPUI) — will leverage expanded research programs, new laboratory space and robust STEM degree options for IU students in order to attract faculty talent and grow enrollment in key disciplines, enhancing the vitality of the state with hundreds — and eventually thousands — of additional STEM grads to bolster the talent pool for Indiana employers.
The Science and Technology Corridor, or SciTech Corridor, reflects IU’s strategic plan — IU 2030 — and aligns with recommendations in a recent Governor’s Workforce Cabinet report, which urges Indiana leaders to promote faster and broader adoption of digital technologies, bolster STEM development, and increase access to high-quality STEM education and experiences. The corridor will also be a focal point for collaboration — including research and development — between IU and industry across central Indiana.
“One central pillar in our vision for IU is how we can best serve Indianapolis and the state,” IU President Pamela Whitten said. “We view this new corridor as central to those efforts and crucial to how we can support the vitality of Indianapolis, in particular.
“Through the IU Science and Technology Corridor, we will create new opportunities for Indianapolis students in STEM fields, expand our focus on informatics and computing, and advance certificates and research programs that meet targeted regional workforce needs, making us a cornerstone partner to the state and to the business community in reaching economic and workforce development goals,” Whitten added, noting that 90% of the university’s Indianapolis graduates remain in the state after graduation. “This reaffirms our vision for the Indianapolis campus and aligns seamlessly with the recommendations of our state leaders.”
As stated in the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet recommendations, “If Indiana is to succeed in the modern economy, it must be the right place for Hoosiers, educators and businesses to thrive. … By creating the vision and space now, Indiana will be able to realize more graduates for the high-demand, high-tech jobs of the future.”
Driving the long-term growth and transformative impact of the IU SciTech Corridor in response to the report’s recommendations will be cross-disciplinary projects and collaboration between the soon-to-be IU School of Science in Indianapolis and the School of Informatics and Computing. The Science and Technology Corridor will foster research and talent development in computer science, informatics, artificial intelligence, battery technology, microchips and microtechnology, and cybersecurity. Moreover, its enhanced research and development infrastructure will align to business community needs, yielding new discoveries and attracting crucial resources and investments throughout the state.
“The announcement by IU marks the latest addition to the growing innovation ecosystem in downtown Indianapolis,” said Emily Krueger, president and CEO, 16 Tech Community Corp. “As IU increases its research programs and capacity in Indianapolis, 16 Tech is poised to help IU commercialize technologies, advance their commitment to industry partnerships and accelerate job creation for the Indy region.”
To further ensure alignment with key economic development priorities, IU intends to design the corridor in partnership with industry leaders and the surrounding community. IU has hired Victor Smith, a partner at Bose McKinney & Evans, former Indiana secretary of commerce and former CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., to help coordinate the creation of the science and technology corridor.
Strategic investments in faculty, support staff and renovation-focused capital projects will help realize the vision for the corridor and equip IU’s Indianapolis campus to scale student enrollment and increase much-needed laboratory space. The corridor’s formation will coincide with the transition of IUPUI to IU Indianapolis in 2024.