Life sciences companies and research universities in Indiana have come together to establish the country's first industry-led collaborative life sciences research institute which, it is hoped, will fuel innovation and bring new jobs and investment to the region.

The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute is a statewide public-private partnership - helped off the ground by venture capital group BioCrossroads - which will be led by Indiana’s life sciences industry in partnerships with research universities to discover, develop and deliver innovations in biosciences. 

The estimated $360-million Institute is a non-profit group that will be supported largely by corporate and philanthropic funding and led by a largely donor-based board of directors from all involved sectors. 

Support from the State has also been promised, with $25 million allocated for the next two years for start-up costs. An additional $25 million in start-up funding will be sought from industry and philanthropic sources, which will go towards recruiting "a nationally recognised" chief and research fellows. 

Operating costs will be funded through Institute endowment proceeds, industry-sponsored research and federally funded research.

Plans for the Institute were spearheaded by industry executives from Eli Lilly, Dow AgroSciences, Roche Diagnostics, Cook Medical, Indiana University Health and Biomet and the Governor of Indiana, and Indiana’s research institutions, including Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame, also are taking part in the development process.

The Institute is developing a novel operating model, under which the industry will provide a major source of funding and define its research focus to help maximise commercialisation opportunities.

“The research institute will change the bio-landscape of our region,” said Bart Peterson, senior vice president at Lilly. "[It] will help us tear down silos and bring our organisations together — benefitting patients who desperately need better solutions for emerging diseases and other difficult health care challenges".