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BioCrossroads Report Defines Strategic Vision for Global Orthopedics Capital
Date:9/10/2009

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Now generating more than $11 billion in annual revenues, the global orthopedics sector concentrated in Warsaw, Indiana, represents more than half the U. S. market share and more than one- third of the world's market for developing orthopedic medical devices.

How does an industry -- contained within a community -- continue to maintain its strong economic presence and position itself for future growth? BioCrossroads, Indiana's organization for investment, development and advancement of the state's signature life sciences strengths, explores and outlines a series of action-oriented responses to this question in a new published report, Warsaw, Indiana: The Orthopedics Capital of the World -- An overview, analysis and blueprint for future industry and community growth.

The report represents one of the most comprehensive studies ever conducted of Indiana's outsized share of this remarkable industry, and it suggests a range of broadly supported steps that the industry, the community and the State can pursue to ensure this sector continues to thrive on Hoosier soil.

Initiated through a planning grant funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc., the BioCrossroads report reveals stunning statistics that highlight the growth of a sophisticated business sector and the community supporting it:

  • Kosciusko County has grown its Health & Biomedical employment base by 39 percent since 2001 compared with 15 percent for both Indiana and the U.S.
  • In 2007, the concentration of jobs in Kosciusko County in the medical devices and equipment category had a location quotient of 51.86, which is nearly 50 times that for the national average, [resulting in] a location quotient that is literally "off the charts."*
  • When compared with the larger Metropolitan Statistical Areas analyzed nationally in the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice biennial state by state industry analysis for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the Warsaw, IN Micropolitan Area (population 12,500) would rank as the 15th largest regional employer in medical devices and equipment in the U.S.

"The Warsaw orthopedics community is one of the most robust and concentrated medical equipment development sectors in the world, and a world-class economic asset that powers growth for all of Indiana," said David Johnson, President and CEO of BioCrossroads. "The integration of all this research has resulted in a picture of an industry cluster in Warsaw, that is currently robust, respected and globally competitive. While this orthopedics device sector has been tremendously successful to date, our research and the truly global scale of this sector's reach make it very clear that global pressures now confronting our whole economy, including all our life sciences sectors, have sparked a broadly perceived need for a community and industry engagement strategy focused on education, talent recruitment and retention, workforce and community development to ensure sustainability.

"We're now in the process of developing a Warsaw-based, regionally focused organizational initiative that can better define and prioritize the challenges and opportunities, and then seek funding to bring the best and most responsive ideas to life," Johnson added.

The report details seven initial focus areas for such an initiative to explore:

  • Branding and Awareness - promote the Warsaw community as the orthopedics capital of the world
  • Community Enhancement - develop and add specific, cultural and recreational amenities
  • Education - enhance options and opportunities for K-16 education
  • Talent and Workforce Development - further and focus the necessary collaboration among industry, government and education to identify future needs for this industry's highly skilled management and workforce
  • Transportation and Logistics - analyze regional transportation challenges and develop specific options for improvement
  • Industry/Technical Support Enterprises - research market opportunities and business cases for specific enterprises that could provide valuable "business infrastructure" for Warsaw's diversified orthopedics industry
  • College and Research University Engagement - promote and establish specific mechanisms and programs for collaboration among Indiana's academic and research institutions and between academia and industry to promote innovation and enhance processes for research and development.

"The medical innovation coming out of Warsaw is some of the best in the world, so it's critical that we have a plan for sustainability and growth. With true and widespread business and community participation, BioCrossroads has created a roadmap to move us forward, and we are fortunate to have such an action-oriented champion for our community," said Cheryl R. Blanchard, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President, Zimmer, Inc. "Community and industry leaders are eager to become engaged in this effort and find the best ways to make a positive impact on our community."

"Warsaw's economic vitality is driven by our orthopedics companies, not only for the success of the largest industry leaders, but also for the entrepreneurs and service companies that support this sector," said David Findlay, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Administration, Lake City Bank. "The work that BioCrossroads has done in developing this strategic framework will help our community progress, enhancing our assets and filling in our gaps. I can readily report that there is a lot of energy surrounding this initiative."

The report is available on the BioCrossroads Web site: www.biocrossroads.com

The BioCrossroads report draws heavily upon research by Battelle- both a 2001 study and an update to that work completed in 2009. In addition, a community study, including a number of in-depth interviews and facilitated discussions with key business and community leaders in the Warsaw region, was conducted and facilitated by Mary Walshok, Ph.D., an international expert in community and economic growth, professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego, and a principal in Global CONNECT at UC-San Diego. The report also includes specific recommendations for new types of enterprises and facilities developed by distinguished orthopedic surgeons.

About BioCrossroads

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 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.

*Employment concentration is a useful way to gauge a state or county's degree of specialization in a given industry or cluster of industries. Location Quotients (LQs) measure the degree of job concentration within the region relative to the nation. A county LQ greater than 1.0 is said to have a greater concentration than the national average. When the LQ is significantly above average, 1.20 or greater, the county is said to have a "specialization" in the industry. (Battelle)


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