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Indiana’s Life Sciences Industry Strategy: Reaching the Next Level of Global Competitiveness



Jane Dunigan-Smith, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, BioCrossroads

In today’s rapidly advancing world, Indiana stands at the forefront of innovation and economic development in the life sciences sector.

Contributing $77 billion in economic impact statewide and employing 64,000 Hoosiers who have made incredible achievements, the sector’s performance is a testament to the collaborative efforts that have established Indiana as a global leader in life sciences. The state now leads the nation in pharmaceutical exports and ranks third nationally in overall life sciences exports, totaling $13 billion in 2022 alone.

As technology continues to revolutionize the industry, we have taken significant steps to reassess Indiana’s life sciences sector strategies. This involves understanding the needs of our research institutions, industry enterprises, and other stakeholders. Our responsibility is to adapt and align our focus to meet these evolving demands, through four key areas:

  • Fostering research and development and innovation
  • Enhancing the state’s life sciences manufacturing ecosystem
  • Boosting Indiana’s life sciences talent and workforce
  • Supporting connections and outreach across the sector

Understanding Growth Dynamics:

Indiana is not just participating in the global life sciences landscape; we are setting the pace. Our sector, substantial and well-established, is evolving into a powerhouse that defines industry standards and shapes the future of global healthcare and biotechnology. It’s our continuous pursuit of excellence and innovation that propels us beyond traditional growth, transforming every challenge into a strategic opportunity to showcase our leadership. Our focus is to continue cultivating a thriving ecosystem by enhancing our solid sector foundations and embracing forward-thinking strategies that place us at the forefront of a dynamic and ever-expanding industry.

Commitment to Continuous Growth:

Our goal is not just to sustain but to accelerate growth. The life sciences sector has shown remarkable resilience and adaptability, demonstrated by a 14% increase in job growth from 2018 to 2022. We aim to build upon this momentum, ensuring that our life sciences industries remain vital contributors to Indiana’s economic health.

Connecting the Dots:

Our assessment indicates that Indiana has all the necessary components for success. The focus on workforce development, highlighted in the Governor’s 2024 agenda, aims to create a skilled workforce vital for attracting new operations and improving our capabilities, benefiting our communities. By improving training and fostering education-industry partnerships, we can help cultivate careers to advance the sector.

The Road Ahead:

Embracing the changes brought about by evolving workforce demands and advancing technology, this strategy acts as a roadmap, guiding us toward achieving our ambitious goals. We believe in the power of collaboration and are committed to leveraging our strong partnerships and innovative tools to make these goals a reality.

Indiana’s life sciences sector is key to our economic success. The pharmaceutical industry, a leader in research, development, manufacturing, and distribution, boosts our economy and provides quality job opportunities. Currently second in U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturing as measured by GDP contribution per capita, Indiana aims to become number one, backed by our capabilities, innovative tools, and skilled workforce.

The medical devices sector, adding $3.8 billion, drives innovation and job creation, supporting startups and established companies. By establishing strategic manufacturing hubs, we aim to strengthen domestic manufacturing and create even more quality jobs.

As senior vice president and chief strategy officer at BioCrossroads, I’ve seen the significant impact of these industries on Indiana’s economy and health landscape. Indiana’s life sciences sector reflects our state’s innovation and resilience, and we can continue to lead in this vital field. This strategy was developed in partnership with a diverse range of industry stakeholders, and a continued, unified effort will be key to shaping a future where life sciences remain central to our state’s economic and social wellbeing.

Read the full report from TEConomy Partners: A Strategic Roadmap for Advancing Indiana’s Life Sciences

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