The author of a new report from a Washington D.C.-based science and technology think tank says Indiana "has done quite well" when it comes to creating a successful life sciences ecosystem. Information Technology and Innovation Foundation Senior Fellow Joe Kennedy says the sector — which includes pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device and equipment companies — was selected because new technology is showing great promise in reducing cost and increasing effectiveness. In addition to Indiana, the report highlights efforts in Colorado, New Jersey, North Carolina and Washington.
Kennedy, who previously served as chief economist for the U.S. Department of Commerce in the George W. Bush administration, says Indiana has several assets and initiatives that make it a major player nationally. One key is three nationally-recognized research institutions — Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame — that not only pump out highly-trained life sciences graduates, but also are tied into the business community. The educational institutions, he adds, have "also made efforts to connect both researchers and entrepreneurs with funding, so that people with a good idea or good research results can get a little money to try and prove it out." Kennedy says a funding gap still remains between research stages and commercialization, but efforts in Indiana have made strides in filling the void.
Indiana stands out, Kennedy says, in areas such as feeding the pipeline of skilled workers and state incentives for research and development — an area where the study says Indiana is the most generous in the nation by offering a 10-15 percent deduction for R&D expenses. He also singled out BioCrossroads, Indiana’s life sciences initiative as a great connection point for industry, education and workforce. "If a new state wanted to get in, BioCrossroads would be a good model to follow," Kennedy said.
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Information Technology and Innovation Foundation Senior Fellow Joe Kennedy says Indiana has several assets and initiatives that make it a major player nationally.