It’s that time of year, when BioCrossroads’ professional team is gearing up for the annual Indiana Life Sciences Summit which takes place in October in downtown Indianapolis. Although BioCrossroads handles the logistics for this widely respected event, over the past twelve years the success of the Summit can only be attributed to the collaborative effort of many companies, universities, and influencers in the life sciences community who participate in the Summit itself, and drive the many underlying milestone achievements that the Summit highlights each year.

It’s the power of the people that not only enables this great conference, but also is the common theme that fuels the life sciences community in Indiana. It’s this intentional effort of so many influencers coming together that has put Indiana in a leadership position for life sciences.

Our ability to bring people together for a common cause has resulted in our achieving many milestones like raising successive and return-driven venture capital and seed funds to build new companies; driving cooperation among industry, university, government and philanthropic stakeholders; and together helping to develop unique healthcare collaborations such as OrthoWorx, the Indiana Health Information Exchange and the Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research. The result is a vibrant life sciences community that, among many impressive accomplishments, has doubled its economic impact from $32 billion to $59 billion in just eleven years.

But our strengths don’t just come in the number of people involved. Success is about getting like-minded people who have a deep, collective determination to reach an identified objective by sharing knowledge, learning from each other and building consensus. A great example of this approach is the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI), a textbook example of the power of people.

It started in 2012, when Dr. John Lechleiter, chairman, president and CEO of Eli Lilly and Company, delivered a keynote speech at the Indiana Life Sciences Summit setting into motion the vision for what is now the IBRI. In front of an audience of nearly 250 life sciences players and opinion leaders from around the state, Dr. Lechleiter made a compelling case for bringing together industry with our research universities in a new, patient-focused research institute that could engage in more outcome-driven research, recruit even more world-class talent to Indiana, and accelerate our region’s scientific, entrepreneurial and commercial standings and success.

That presentation lit a spark among leaders across the community to push forward to become the best we can possibly be when it comes to developing world-class life sciences assets, investments and talent. And we did. Since that time, the IBRI has raised $50 million and built a collaboration of industry partners like no other including, Lilly, Biomet, Cook Medical, Dow AgroSciences, IU Health, and Roche Diagnostics.  The momentum—and the progress—continue to build.

Consider: one talk at a regional conference in Indiana set this all into motion. We are eagerly anticipating the results of the lively discussions we have planned for this year’s Indiana Life Sciences Summit. The topic for this year’s conference is “Innovation in the lab and in the community” with an emphasis on creating an innovation district, attracting and retaining talent, and raising capital. Although we have a dynamic agenda full of industry thought leaders from the real-estate development, pharmaceutical, medical device, university, and investment communities, the most important piece of this event will be, once again, the people who come and are inspired to set even more productive activity in motion.

Come and be a part of the Summit on October 14 and 15. It’s not just an event, it’s bringing like-minded people together to ignite a spark.

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