INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- BioCrossroads today announced the receipt of a two-year $2.8 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. The grant will fund a range of charitable, educational and scientific activities through 2013 as BioCrossroads continues to build upon Indiana's signature strengths in the life sciences.
"As BioCrossroads approaches our 10-year anniversary in early 2012, we recognize that Lilly Endowment's significant investment in our initiative has been a game-changer for the success of Indiana's life sciences sector and, therefore, for our entire community," said D. Craig Brater, MD, chairman of the board of BioCrossroads. "As detailed in a recent Battelle report on the progress of Indiana's life sciences cluster, Indiana has seen a decade of substantial growth and tremendous progress across a wide range of nationally significant indicators. This is in large part due to the efforts of BioCrossroads and the major support of its founding stakeholders, especially Lilly Endowment."
Indiana's life sciences sector has received national recognition as a life sciences center. In June 2009, The Economist said, "Though every state wants to be a hub in the life sciences, Indiana actually is one..." More recently, an August Wall Street Journal article called Indianapolis a hotbed of activity for the life sciences, citing the state's 825 life sciences companies and 8,800 new jobs.
Grants from Lilly Endowment for the BioCrossroads initiative (now totaling more than $25 million) go to the CICP Foundation, which also supports other eligible charitable, educational and scientific initiatives and activities of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. Since its inception, BioCrossroads has focused on projects that work with existing assets and connect them to the community in new ways, leading to the creation of eight collaborative enterprises, such as the Indiana Health Information Exchange, OrthoWorx and the Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention.
Also, BioCrossroads has produced four leading Indiana life sciences reports since 2008 covering biopharmaceutical development, health information technology, orthopedics and Indiana's overall life sciences industry. These reports have helped elevate the regional and national visibility of each of these sectors as centers of innovation and excellence.
In a related development, Lilly Endowment also awarded a two-year $1.6 million grant to the CICP Foundation for the operations and expansion of the I-STEM Resource Network. Launched and sponsored by BioCrossroads, the network is a statewide consortium of higher education institutions managed by Purdue University which draws upon the efforts of 17 other universities, colleges and other institutions of higher learning around Indiana. The I-STEM initiative represents a unique and shared mission by these stakeholders to provide professional development for K-12 teachers that should result in measurable improvement in student achievement in the STEM disciplines. Such achievement is vital in preparing Indiana's next generation for some of the state's best opportunities in top fields, such as the life sciences, that draw heavily upon skills in mathematics and science.
"Lilly Endowment is pleased to support BioCrossroads' growing impact on the development of Indiana's nationally significant life sciences cluster," said N. Clay Robbins, Endowment president. "One of the Endowment's objectives is to help foster rewarding economic opportunities for Indiana residents. The flourishing of the state's life sciences cluster should result in the creation of many more such opportunities, which in turn should benefit residents and strengthen communities throughout Indiana.
About Lilly Endowment Inc.
The Endowment was founded in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the wishes of the founders, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. The Lilly family's foremost priority was to help the people of their city and state build a better life, and the Endowment remains primarily committed to Indianapolis and Indiana.
BioCrossroads (www.biocrossroads.com) is Indiana's initiative to grow, advance and invest in the life sciences, a public-private collaboration that supports the region's existing research and corporate strengths while encouraging new business development. BioCrossroads provides money and support to life sciences businesses, launches new life sciences enterprises (Indiana Health Information Exchange, Fairbanks Institute for Healthy Communities, BioCrossroadsLINX, and Datalys Center), expands collaboration and partnerships among Indiana's life science institutions, promotes science education and markets Indiana's life sciences industry.
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