A new report from Ohio-based TEConomy Partners LLC shows Indiana’s life sciences sector has outperformed the state’s economy over the last 20 years. The report was commissioned by BioCrossroads, the state’s life sciences initiative, and says nearly a quarter of the net new jobs in Indiana from 2001 to 2020 were created in the life sciences sector. “It demonstrates that the financial impact, the workforce impact, the innovation impact on our state is really here to stay,” said BioCrossroads CEO Patty Martin.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Martin said the life sciences sector has been a factor in Indiana for over 100 years.
“Many other states are now figuring out that there’s real opportunity and real growth in life sciences,” said Martin. “But for us, it really harkens back to the beginning of some of the institutions here like Lilly, like Roche, like Cook, and the beauty of those organizations is they are all very diverse. So we represent not just biotechnology; we represent other therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices.”
Martin adds it’s important to note that Indiana’s life sciences ecosystem is not limited to just one region.
“The sector is statewide, so that gives us a competitive advantage over other states that are very, very localized and very specifically focused,” she said.
The report, BioCrossroads and the Indiana Life Sciences Ecosystem: Tracking Two Decades of Progress and Charting a Path for Sustained Success, says of the 50,000 new jobs created in Indiana over the last 20 years, 12,000 were in the life sciences.
Martin says Indiana’s research universities – specifically, Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame – are critical to the sector’s success.
The report shows life sciences research at the state’s colleges and universities has increased from $282 million in 2001 to $844 million in 2020.
“The amount of funding that they have been able to secure over the last number of years has grown by 300%, and so that investment and the innovation that it brings to the state, the talent that it brings to the state is really important to continue to make those investments,” Martin said.
Additionally, the report says the number of venture capital deals supporting life sciences companies in Indiana has grown from four VC deals totaling $14 million in 2001 to 39 deals totaling more than $433 million in 2021.
Martin says the report sends a message to other states and life sciences companies that Indiana is performing on another level and it’s more than just an idea for the state.
“The life sciences sector contributes nearly $80 billion to the state of Indiana’s economy. We’d like to see that grow to $100 billion, and not just with our legacy companies here, but we have many startups, many new therapeutic areas and new subsectors that are growing that are going to help us get there.”
Looking forward, Martin says it will be important for Indiana to raise more awareness of the importance of life sciences throughout the state.
“Indiana’s known as a farming state. We’re known as a manufacturing state. We’re not broadly understood here within our own state lines and beyond that we are a life sciences state, and that we have many assets that we can leverage and grow,” she said. “We need to make sure that folks understand the importance of the sector and the opportunity to create jobs and generate wealth across the state.”
You can view the full report by clicking here.