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Burgeoning Indiana Biosciences Research Institute Receives $100M in Grants

March 17, 2016

The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI), first unveiled in May 2013, is a statewide public-private partnership advanced by BioCrossroads that considers itself the first industry-led collaborative life sciences research institute in the country. Late last month, the institute announced two new grants totaling $100 million that would support scientific innovation addressing metabolic disease and poor nutrition. 

Of the $100 million in grants announced by IBRI, $80 million would come from the Lilly Endowment, with $45 million granted unconditionally and the remaining $35 million subject to dollar-for-dollar matching, encouraging contributions from the broader life sciences community. The Eli Lilly and Company Foundation contributed $20 million, which qualifies for the endowment’s match. An additional $15 million remains to be matched.

This announcement comes just one month after the appointment of metabolic disease research scientist Raghu Mirmira as the first Indiana Research Fellow and interim Scientific Director for the Institute. IBRI’s research focus on diabetes, metabolic disease, and poor nutrition is directly related to the institute’s desire to improve the health of individuals and communities. 

Momentum continues to build around the institute as an anchor to the Indianapolis region’s life sciences industry. Initially, the state of Indiana provided $25 million in 2014 to kick start the capital formation efforts of the IBRI. In 2015, the city of Indianapolis approved a $75 million bond issue to support civil engineering and infrastructure work to prepare the 16 Tech district for vertical development.

IBRI revealed that it closed a real estate transaction with the city of Indianapolis for 20 acres of land in the heart of 16 Tech in January. Adjacent to the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus and surrounded by water and trails on three sides, 16 Tech considers itself as an “innovation community” that is purposefully built to attract talent across a variety of advanced industries, with an emphasis on the life sciences.

While similar innovation districts around the country have received both praise and criticism for their development efforts, community commitment is a pillar of the 16 Tech concept. A Community Investment Fund, financially supported by assessments paid for by the tenants of space in the Innovation Community, will be established with the express purpose of revitalizing surrounding communities by enabling their Quality of Life and neighborhood plans. Furthermore, working with high schools, community colleges, EmployIndy, community organizations and universities, the innovation community will help develop programs that equip neighboring residents with the skills to succeed in local jobs.



Indianabio, foundations