15 Years of Advancing the Life Sciences

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2017 marks BioCrossroads’ 15th year.  BioCrossroads was set up be a catalyst for the life sciences -- an organization that seized an opportunity to do more with the state’s life sciences corporate and academic assets and bolster tremendous growth to the sector by building unique collaborations, marketing its strengths, igniting a capital market, moving research from laboratory to the patient, and developing a one-of-a-kind institute to accelerate research and commercialization. The result is a vibrant and uniquely collaborative life sciences state-wide community that has increased its economic impact to the state by more than $30 billion in just 13 years ($32B in 2002 and $62B in 2015, an impressive growth rate with several recession years in the mix). 

As it was when we started our initiative, collaboration remains at the heart of what we do.

Seven distinct programs developed over the years exist because of local life sciences leaders and other partners who saw the market opportunity for these enterprises:

  •          Indiana Seed Funds, I and II, encompass a total of $14 million raised from institutional investors and have invested in 24 Indiana start-up companies which have in turn raised hundreds of millions of dollars.
  •          Indiana Health Information Exchange, a fee-for-service collaboration among health care providers who wanted to share patient data more efficiently. Today, the IHIE leverages the cooperation of nearly 90 health care providers all across Indiana and a massive database and its management system first established by the Regenstrief Institute here and is recognized as a national leader.
  •          IndyHub, which connects the city’s newer and younger residents with its cultural assets and promotes the city’s lifestyle image, the effort was organized before such place-making initiatives became popular.
  •          The Datalys Center, a collaboration of athletic trainers, universities and sports governing bodies using big data to better understand injuries and how to treat them more effectively.
  •          OrthoWorx was organized to create a forum for Kosciusko County’s highly concentrated orthopedic manufacturing industry to collaborate on important issues like talent attraction and retention, education and economic development.
  •          AgriNovus Indiana, which was developed to advance the agbiosciences sector as a nationally recognized leader through strategic collaboration among corporations, industry associations, government and universities; the creation and support of new companies and sector promotion.
  •          Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, the newest of the initiatives and a peek into the future as BioCrossroads matures. The IBRI is a center for applied scientific research that is independent of the state’s many biosciences companies, but provides them the opportunity to collaborate on projects and sponsor research.

The magic combination of Indiana’s depth and breadth of life sciences resources together with BioCrossroads’ continuing ability to harness those assets into actionable outcomes like the organization of venture funds, the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute development, and the generation of other unique private-public partnerships is unprecedented, has secured a strategy for Indiana’s economic future as well as for the health of its citizens and the rest of the world. 

Flash forward another 15 years: start-up companies that the Indiana Seed Fund invested in will have products on the market; the IBRI will have dozens of scientific collaborations and results and BioCrossroads will continue to uncover untapped opportunities for Indiana’s life sciences.

David Johnson is president and chief executive officer of BioCrossroads.