In just a few days BioCrossroads will host its 14th Indiana Life Sciences Summit, a two-day conference with speeches and presentations from global thought-leaders, a celebration of Indiana’s vibrant and collaborative life sciences community. It’s not only a great way to hear perspectives from global thought leaders who will be discussing the capital markets, innovation, medical/clinical data sciences and global health, but also a great place to start productive conversations with industry peers.
After our conference in 2015, Christina Bodurow, Ph.D., Senior Director in Lilly Research Laboratories, approached us about integrating a scientific session to encourage local researchers to attend – both a way to share the amazing scientific work and innovation that Indiana has to offer, but also as an opportunity for local scientists to interact. Indiana is rich with incredible research assets – from our industry to university researchers and our entrepreneurs — and across a wide variety of sectors: agricultural innovation, medical device and diagnostics, pharma and biotech. But there was a desire to find a way for more connections with others in Indiana who are also doing research.
So, at last year’s Summit, Chris helped us coordinate a pilot session and the feedback was overwhelmingly “we want more.” As a result, we have set out to deliver on that request through several channels. To start, we launched a Scientific Track of our Frameworx series of events to deliver content throughout the year on various research topics. Additionally, this year as part of the conference and with additional help and input from AIT Bioscience CEO Terri Pascarelli, we have built out a full-day of scientific speakers and sessions focused on immunology and oncology, mostly from our own Indiana companies. And a poster session will not only represent work from our academic institutions and industry, but also ambitious young scientists from high schools, including American Chemical Society Project SEED students.
While there are countless formal agreements and partnerships among our corporations and academic institutions – Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, Purdue and Eli Lilly’s recent announcement for a $52 million research collaboration to name just a few– having more intentional casual collisions like ours, what groups like Indy Science Connect and others are doing to help link scientists and researchers, creates a ripple effect and encourages activity and interaction that can’t be measured. Many business decisions are made outside of office walls, and we believe these types of organic discussions spur innovation.
Lori LeRoy is vice president of communications and marketing for the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), and also continues to serve in the same role for BioCrossroads, CICP’s life sciences initiative.