Indiana University is planning to invest more than $250 million in a set of initiatives intended to advance scientific discoveries and applications in the life sciences and biotechnology.
The announcement was made by Indiana University (IU) President Pamela Whitten in her “state of the university” presentation this week. The investments will support funding for two new research institutes, additional faculty appointments in the life sciences, new and renovated laboratory facilities, and other education and research initiatives.
“Indiana University’s multimillion-dollar strategic investments in the biosciences will ensure IU continues to be at the forefront of driving life-changing discoveries and advancing a robust health care and life sciences ecosystem in Indianapolis and across the Hoosier state,” Whitten said.
“By establishing two major research institutes at IU Indianapolis, expanding life sciences research on our Bloomington campus, and enhancing our industry and community partnerships, we will accelerate the impact of IU research and development. We’ll also spur new businesses, high-paying jobs and dramatically better health outcomes for the people of Indiana and beyond,” she added.
Two New Institutes
One major component of the plan is the creation of two new research institutions at IU’s campus in Indianapolis, a successor to the former Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), which was officially split into two separate institutions earlier this year.
The new institutes will be called the Convergent Bioscience and Technology Institute and the Institute for Human Health and Wellbeing. They will be located within the new IU Science and Technology Corridor at IU Indianapolis.
The first institute will emphasize interdisciplinary bioscience and technology research and feature collaboration with industry partners in areas such as medical devices and sensors and AI-enabled drug discovery and delivery. It will promote the disclosure and licensing of inventions and other discoveries. as well as industry partnerships and IU-launched startup companies.
The second institute will focus on research intended to improve health outcomes in Indianapolis. According to the university, “it will address key challenges facing human health on an individual and global scale — from using AI and machine learning to detect and monitor obesity and diabetes to pursuing community-engaged research focused on health equity.”
Plans call for dedicating $60 million in appropriations from the state of Indiana to expand and renovate the research capacity and laboratory space in the two new centers.
IU will spend $93 million to recruit an unspecified number of new faculty at IU Bloomington in fields related to the biosciences, biotechnology and human health.
It will invest $47.4 million in salaries and benefits for these new faculty and an additional $46.1 million in startup costs for them.
Construction and Renovation of Research Facilities
IU plans to complete $30 million of construction and renovation of 48,000 square feet of research labs, teaching spaces and related support areas in a new medical education and research building at the IU School of Medicine that’s expected to be completed in 2025.
It will also fund $23.1 million in other renovations to laboratory spaces and research facilities at IU Bloomington.
IU will also provide:
- An additional $7.5 million in internal funding to support life sciences research on the Bloomington campus.
- $10 million in state appropriations to recruit faculty to the new research institutes at IU Indianapolis.
- Up to $30 million in both state and institutional funds to support research operations and three new Indianapolis-based research consortia that will have expertise in AI; health informatics; and research impacting health equity outcomes.
- Investments in high-demand academic degree programs to complement the new research institutes at IU Indianapolis and areas of life science excellence in Bloomington.
In total, the planned expenditures “rival the largest investments made in these areas by the nation’s leading public and private research universities,” according to the IU news release.
Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb said the university’s financial commitment would “help drive further economic growth throughout the high-tech bioscience sector. IU is doubling down on its role as one of the top research institutions in the country, helping Indiana maintain our stronghold position as a global leader in life sciences and biotechnology innovation, which will ultimately lead to better health outcomes for Hoosier families and beyond.”