Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) Chief Executive Officer John Lechleiter says major new funding marks "the next chapter" in the evolution of the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute in Indianapolis. He says the grants, $80 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. and $20 million from the Eli Lilly and Co. Foundation, will help the institute "attract rising star talent." Lechleiter was the first to publicly call for the institute in 2012 during a speech at the Economic Club of Indiana.
Lechleiter joined Governor Mike Pence, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, IBRI Chief Executive Officer David Broecker and others today to discuss the grants.
Pence says the institute is an important initiative "in a field that’s seeing tremendous growth." He says the grants will "give the institute more opportunity to attract world-class scientific talent, and produce research that will serve to further support its success in Indiana in the years to come."
Broecker says the $100 million gives the institute "instant credibility" as it looks to recruit top research talent from around the world. The project has now attracted around $150 million in investment. He is now focusing much of his fundraising efforts on identifying individuals and families throughout the United States who want to support the effort.
The $350 million institute will anchor the planned 16 Tech innovation district in downtown Indianapolis. The facility, which could ultimately house about 200 researchers, will focus on metabolic diseases and nutrition. Last year, the City-County Council in Indianapolis approved $75 million in bond funding for infrastructure improvements at 16 Tech. Engineering work is underway. Broecker expects IBRI to move into its new, permanent home by mid-to-late 2018.
Lechleiter says the funding gives IBRI recruiters a “strong hand.”