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IU invests more than $250M to strengthen university’s, state’s leadership and impact in biosciences

Commitments will create two new research institutes at IU Indianapolis, recruit preeminent researchers to IU Bloomington, expand key partnerships

For Immediate Release Oct 30, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana University will invest more than $250 million to advance scientific discoveries aimed at curing and treating diseases and improving human health, while cementing Indiana’s position as a global leader in life sciences and biotechnology innovation.

Pamela Whitten standing at a lectern Indiana University President Pamela Whitten delivers her State of the University address on IU's Indianapolis campus. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

IU President Pamela Whitten announced the funding commitments, which rival the largest investments made in these areas by the nation’s leading public and private research universities, during her annual State of the University address Monday. The funding for two new research institutes, new faculty appointments in the life sciences, new and renovated facilities, and major education and research initiatives represents one of IU’s largest strategic investments in life sciences, human health and biotechnology.

“Indiana University’s multimillion-dollar strategic investments in the biosciences will ensure IU continues to be at the forefront of driving life-changing discoveries and advancing a robust health care and life sciences ecosystem in Indianapolis and across the Hoosier state,” Whitten said. “By establishing two major research institutes at IU Indianapolis, expanding life sciences research on our Bloomington campus, and enhancing our industry and community partnerships, we will accelerate the impact of IU research and development. We’ll also spur new businesses, high-paying jobs and dramatically better health outcomes for the people of Indiana and beyond.”

Drawing on decades of IU’s leadership in health sciences and medicine and the expertise of top-tier faculty on its core research campuses in Bloomington and Indianapolis, as well as the nation’s largest medical school, IU will launch the Convergent Bioscience and Technology Institute and the Institute for Human Health and Wellbeing. Aligned to the IU 2030 strategic plan, these Indianapolis-based institutes will drive transformative research in the areas of health, medicine, life sciences and technology, while equipping IU to nimbly address emerging disciplines.

The new institutes will be located within the new IU Science and Technology Corridor at IU Indianapolis but will foster faculty collaboration across IU. As part of the SciTech Corridor, they will advance STEM education and curriculum for Hoosiers and accelerate the transformation of IU Indianapolis into one of the nation’s leading urban public research universities.

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In addition, IU will target more than $93 million of its total investments to hire and support new faculty members in the life sciences on the IU Bloomington campus, advancing the goals of the campus’s Faculty 100 initiative. These investments will also support startup packages for these new faculty hires with a track record of driving innovation, entrepreneurship and industry collaborations to address major economic and societal challenges. IU Bloomington will also fund major renovations in its research laboratory infrastructure, with a particular focus on STEM-based facilities.

Spurring transformative innovation and strengthening Indiana’s economic vitality

Whitten outlined IU’s current and future financial commitments — which build upon funding provided to IU by the Indiana General Assembly — targeted at attracting the best scientific minds in the nation to IU, designing and developing new teaching and research initiatives in the biosciences, and advancing collaborative activities with key local, state and national partners.

These commitments over the next several years include :

  • Investing $60 million in appropriations from the state of Indiana to expand and renovate STEM research and laboratory space and interdisciplinary research facilities — serving as an anchor for the IU Science and Technology Corridor. These renovations will support the goals and aspirations of the new Convergent Bioscience and Technology Institute and the Institute for Human Health and Wellbeing at IU Indianapolis.
  • Investing $47.4 million over the next five years at IU Bloomington to recruit new faculty members in fields related to biosciences, biotechnology and human health.
  • Investing $46.1 million in faculty startup costs for new IU Bloomington faculty to accelerate innovative and interdisciplinary health science research, increase academic and industry partnerships, and expand federal grants and contracts.
  • Completing $30 million of construction and renovation of an additional 48,000 square feet of research labs, teaching spaces and related support areas in the new medical education and research building at the IU School of Medicine. The 11-story, 326,000-square-foot facility is expected to be completed in 2025.
  • Funding $23.1 million in renovations to laboratory spaces and research facilities at IU Bloomington, subject to Board of Trustees approval, and providing an additional $7.5 million from IU Research to support life sciences research initiatives on the Bloomington campus.
  • Allocating $10 million in state appropriations to recruit faculty to the new research institutes at IU Indianapolis and applying up to $30 million in both state and IU Research funds to support research operations and three new Indianapolis-based research consortia designed to complement the new Indianapolis-based institutes by providing expertise in AI;, machine learning; health informatics; and community- engaged research impacting health equity outcomes.
  • Investing in a series of high-demand academic degree programs to complement the new research institutes at IU Indianapolis and areas of life science excellence in Bloomington and offer new opportunities for students.

Transforming health and well-being of Hoosier communities, fueling innovation, igniting launch of biosciences startups

During her address, Whitten highlighted the potential of IU’s new research institutes in Indianapolis to drive faculty collaboration across IU, catalyze central Indiana’s growth in biosciences and biotechnology, and shape the creation of healthier communities across the state.

The Convergent Bioscience and Technology Institute will drive interdisciplinary bioscience and technology research and collaboration with industry partners in pursuit of discoveries ranging from wearable and implantable medical devices and sensors to the advanced detection of biomarkers and AI-enabled drug discovery and delivery. With a goal of quickly delivering IU health and sciences innovations from the bench to bedside, the institute will aim to stimulate substantial growth in the disclosure and licensing of inventions, discoveries and innovations, as well as industry partnerships and IU-launched startup companies.

The new research institutes will shape the creation of healthier communities across Indiana. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana Univers... The new research institutes will shape the creation of healthier communities across Indiana. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University To advance solutions for the most pressing chronic diseases, the Institute for Human Health and Wellbeing will target health-focused research that integrates digital technologies to meet community needs and improve health outcomes in Indianapolis. Bringing together faculty, student researchers and thought leaders, it will address key challenges facing human health on an individual and global scale — from using AI and machine learning to detect and monitor obesity and diabetes to pursuing community-engaged research focused on health equity.

“Developed in conjunction with industry, government and nonprofit partners, and IU faculty, our new research institutes at IU Indianapolis and our significant investments at IU Bloomington will foster a culture of cutting-edge exploration and innovation that positions our state as the nation’s leading center for biosciences research and industry,” IU Vice President for Research Russell J. Mumper said. “We will draw upon the tremendous expertise of our researchers to engage in research with scalable solutions that attract large-scale funding, build on IU’s track record of yielding groundbreaking discoveries and cultivate industry partnerships that advance our impact across the state.”

A powerful formula, including industry partnerships, to propel Indiana’s biosciences sector forward

IU’s legacy of excellence and leadership in health and life sciences encompasses the IU School of Medicine, which received over $214.8 million in total funding from the National Institutes of Health during federal fiscal year 2022, making the school the No. 14 NIH-funded public medical school in the country. IU’s biosciences footprint also includes a robust research enterprise spanning a broad range of academic disciplines; state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities; a world-renowned cyberinfrastructure serving IU researchers, businesses and community organizations; and thriving collaborative activities with proven health and business partners.

Whitten said IU will seek to leverage these signature strengths as it bolsters collaborative activities with leading academic, government and industry partners, including, among others, the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, BioCrossroads and the 16 Tech innovation district in downtown Indianapolis.

Additionally, she said that the new research institutes at IU Indianapolis will invite universities from across Indiana to join and collaborate on initiatives that strengthen the state’s innovation ecosystem in the life sciences.

“Collectively, IU’s resources and the university’s partners across our state make for a powerful formula that has transformed Indiana into a national and international center for bold exploration, innovation and transformative discoveries in the life sciences,” Whitten said. “Our new investments will enable us to cement IU as a leader in shaping the future of this vital sector.”

What they are saying:

Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb: “Indiana University’s continued financial commitment to invest in its Indianapolis campus strengthens our state’s health care and life science pipelines and will help drive further economic growth throughout the high-tech bioscience sector. IU is doubling down on its role as one of the top research institutions in the country, helping Indiana maintain our stronghold position as a global leader in life sciences and biotechnology innovation, which will ultimately lead to better health outcomes for Hoosier families and beyond.”

Indiana Secretary of Commerce David Rosenberg: “Indiana University is making a monumental investment to further solidify Indiana as a world leader in biosciences. These two new research institutions will attract new talent to the state and engage with industry and our communities to improve health outcomes for Hoosiers and people all over the world. I have no doubt this $250 million investment to advance scientific discoveries will be a game-changer as we aim to cure deadly diseases, train world-class health care providers and lead in cutting-edge research.”

Melina Kennedy, CEO of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership: “Indiana University has long been a great partner to BioCrossroads and the entire Hoosier life sciences sector. It’s also a key driver in incredible medical advances that have had huge global effects. We are thrilled to see this unprecedented level of additional investment. The two new research institutes located near the 16 Tech Innovation District will enhance a burgeoning research corridor in Indianapolis, and Bloomington campus growth will spur even more important discoveries. The expansion will further strengthen Indiana’s already robust and diverse life sciences sector, which contributed nearly $80 billion to the state’s economy last year.”

Dave Ricks, chair and CEO, Eli Lilly and Company: “I commend President Whitten on IU’s new investment in life sciences research and education. Lilly has always sought to attract the best talent in the world to help us make medicines for some of mankind’s most difficult health challenges. Investing in training and educating bright minds focused on improving health closer to home makes IU, Lilly, and the entire state of Indiana stronger.”

Alan D. Palkowitz, president and CEO of the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute and senior research professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine: “We at the IBRI are extremely excited about the tremendous investment and strategic initiatives announced today by President Whitten. This renewed vision and commitment by IU to the life sciences will accelerate the growth of breakthrough research, innovative solutions and valuable entrepreneurship that will have a lasting impact on Indiana and patients for many years to come. The IBRI stands ready to partner closely with IU to realize the vast potential of these new investments in science, talent and research facilities.”

Emily Krueger, president and CEO of 16 Tech Community Corporation: “The institutes announced by IUI today are an exciting boost to the health innovation ecosystem in Indianapolis. As these investments come to fruition, 16 Tech is poised to be the place where faculty and students interact with industry and connect with resources to ensure the commercialization of their research into products and services.”

Pete Yonkman, president of Cook Medical and Cook Group: “Indiana University’s strategic investments lay the groundwork for strengthening our already robust foundation of biosciences in the state. IU is a strong partner to Cook Medical and the state of Indiana, and I look forward to continued partnership and growth as Indiana continues to lead in life sciences.”

John Hauser, vice president of operations for Boston Scientific’s facility in Spencer, Indiana: “At Boston Scientific, we are committed to advancing science for life and are pleased to see IU’s new investment in Indiana’s life sciences sector. This signals a strong commitment to helping improve patient outcomes and the local communities where our employees live and work.”

Rahul Shrivastav, executive vice president and provost of IU Bloomington: “Indiana University’s investments in hiring new preeminent faculty at IU Bloomington and improving the campus’s research infrastructure will amplify our leadership in the life sciences and accelerate innovations with the potential to positively impact lives. This major biosciences initiative is testament to the expertise and creativity of researchers across the Bloomington campus dedicated to meeting the extraordinary opportunities we have to launch and pioneer projects that serve the common good.”

Carol Anne Murdoch-Kinch, interim chancellor of IUPUI: “The new research institutes at IU Indianapolis will amplify our impact through multidisciplinary research and discovery, while also serving as a talent magnet, innovation incubator and economic driver. Our outstanding faculty, staff and students have long been known for our interdisciplinary approaches to solving the most complex problems. These new institutes leverage our strengths by expanding the current research enterprise, creating new research programs of strategic importance, and establishing collaborative pathways for our industry partners, launching the next chapter of our campus as a pre-eminent urban research university.”

Phaedra Corso, IU associate vice president for research and vice chancellor for research at Indianapolis: “We are in a unique position to shape the future of research at IU Indianapolis, and I am especially thrilled about the many opportunities these new institutes will bring to our campus. They are helping us expand the foundation for building one of the nation’s preeminent urban research universities in Indianapolis, and I cannot wait to see the important impacts we’ll make in our city, state and world in the coming years.”

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