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Pence Announces Public-Private Bioscience Venture

Governor Mike Pence says the creation of a new Biosciences Research Institute announced Thursday will create jobs, attract investment and talent from around the globe and help retain the state’s top graduates.  It’s being called the first industry-led life sciences research institute in the country.

The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute is a collaborative effort between private companies such as Eli Lilly, Cook Group and Dow AgroSciences and the state’s research universities – IU, Purdue and Notre Dame.  By pooling resources and attracting new researchers to Indiana, the aim of the institute is to make the transition from the lab to the marketplace easier. 

BioCrossroads President David Johnson, who sits on the board of directors for the new institute, says part of its mission is to capture the dollars being spent outside the state by Indiana life sciences companies.  He says retaining even five percent of that business will be a huge boon to the state.

“That’s $250 million to $300 million a year coming into Indiana’s economy,” Johnson said, “and that’s real money and that is business and that is, in fact, exactly what the governor is talking about – putting Hoosiers to work.”

Gov. Mike Pence says the value of the institute goes beyond the economic benefit for Indiana.

“Health issues that as we all know and we say, with heavy hearts, impacts too many Hoosiers – obesity, diabetes and heart disease…we’re going to come up with the breakthroughs here that are going to benefit Hoosiers and deal with some of the maladies that our own citizens deal with,” Pence said.

The General Assembly appropriated $25 million to get the institute up and running initially.  It will ultimately cost $360 million to fully create and Johnson says the bulk of that funding will come from private investment and donations.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.