Grand Challenges Recipient Lands 'Extraordinary Investment'

Posted: Updated:
Ellen Ketterson will lead the Prepared for Environmental Change team. Ellen Ketterson will lead the Prepared for Environmental Change team.

Indiana University has announced a $55 million investment into the second project funded through its Grand Challenges Program. The Prepared for Environmental Change initiative is led by IU Distinguished Professor of Biology Ellen Ketterson and supported by partners including Columbus-based Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) and Citizens Energy Group in Indianapolis. It involves creating the Environmental Resilience Institute to predict climate change-related threats and develop solutions for businesses, agriculture and communities.

During a news conference Wednesday morning in Bloomington, Ketterson called the support "an extraordinary investment in Indiana's future." The collaboration aims to respond with "the right investments" and expertise to work with stakeholders in ag, industry, infrastructure and public health and safety. "This group and I have worked together building a strategy and programs that harness our shared expertise and its an expertise that's based on two campuses and nine departments or schools," Ketterson said. "We were motivated by the Grand Challenge held forth by President (Michael) McRobbie and driven by our commitment to research and service and we've created what we believe is a visionary plan."

Prepared for Environmental Change will focus on primary objectives including:

  • Forecast future environmental change and its impacts
  • Provide solutions to prepare for change
  • Engage the citizens of the state to build a future for Hoosiers to thrive for the next century and beyond

Ketterson says "making ourselves more resilient in the face of environmental change isn't just about rising sea levels or droughts in some far away country. It's about protecting Hoosier farmers from invasive species, stopping the spread of diseases with broad-reaching impacts for our children, conserving the plants and animals that sustain us, defending ourselves from serious weather disasters, and creating more livable towns and cities. We are facing very real threats to Hoosier livelihoods. If we’re going to be a ‘state that works,’ we need to be a state that’s prepared for what’s to come."

Grand Challenges is a five-year, $300 million investment by IU and is considered the largest single research investment in school history. A year ago, IU announced details of the Precision Health Initiative, which is targeting the cure for one cancer and one childhood disease over the next decade. It is supported with up to $40 million from the program and up to an additional $80 million from the IU School of Medicine.

  • Perspectives

    • ?Kerr has also previously held executive roles with Groupon, Angie’s List and GHX.

      Why Tech in The Midwest Attracts Capital

      Indianapolis is no longer simply a racing and manufacturing hub. The tech scene in Indy, and across the Midwest, has exploded over the past decade, with no sign of stopping. Last year alone, Indiana's tech industry contributed $14.1 billion to the economy. What's driving the growth and making Indianapolis stand out among coastal cities for venture capital investment, talent and more?



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • Old National Bringing on KleinBank

      Evansville-based Old National Bancorp (Nasdaq: ONB) has agreed to acquire a Minnesota bank. The all-stock transaction for Klein Financial Inc. is currently valued at nearly $434 million. The deal, which has received the approval from the Old National and Klein boards of directors, is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Old National says the acquisition will boost its asset total to approximately $20 billion. KleinBank's total assets come in at $2 billion. It has...

    • Chavers Exiting IndyHub

      The longtime executive director of IndyHub is leaving the organization. Molly Chavers, the founding leader of the civic engagement organization for young professionals, says she plans to take time for family before determining what's next. IndyHub was launched in 2005 by the city of Indianapolis and BioCrossroads to help retain and attract talent. Chavers says...

    • (photo courtesy Grand Park Sports Campus)

      Construction Begins on Pro X Facility at Grand Park

      Officials in Westfield broke ground Wednesday on the $5 million Pro X Athlete Development facility at Grand Park Sports Campus.  Westfield, IN –Today, Mayor Andy Cook joined other city leaders and owners of Pro X Athlete Development to break ground on the latest business to make Grand Park its home. The $5 million Pro X facility is scheduled to open in early 2019.

    • Fishers To Buy Historic Home

      The Morris-Flanagan-Kincaid House in Fishers will have a new owner and location this summer. The city of Fishers will purchase the 1861-built brick farmhouse from Nickel Plate Arts and move it from the Navient campus along I-69 to a new spot on USA Parkway. 

    • Rural Indiana Facing 'Have/Have-not Situation'

      The CEO of Indianapolis-based Indiana Fiber Network calls the 16-year-old broadband internet provider "a great Hoosier success story." IFN, which was launched with a focus on high-speed connectivity for 20 rural telephone companies, now includes some 4,000 buildings throughout the state plugged-in through a network of more than 4,500 miles of fiber. Despite its growth, Jim Turner says there's still work to be done to bridge the broadband access gap in rural areas.