IN Brief

Indiana selected for biotech hub designation worth millions

By: - October 23, 2023 12:12 pm

Indiana’s Heartland BioWorks won a designation worth up to $75M as a Regional Technology and Innovation Hub on Monday. (Getty Images)

The federal government designated Indiana’s Heartland BioWorks as a Regional Technology and Innovation Hub on Monday, allowing the consortium of Hoosier entities to compete against other hubs for implementation grants of up to $75 million.

U.S. Sen. Todd Young authored the program as part of the CHIPS and Science Act expressly to “spur more innovation … in places like Indiana, rather than just Silicon Valley and a few coastal cities,” he said in a statement.

“Today’s announcement to designate Heartland BioWorks as a Tech Hub is a recognition of Indiana’s leadership in biotechnology and synthetic biology research and manufacturing, and another major win for Hoosiers. This designation could lead to millions in federal investment and will open the floodgates for more private capital in biotech R&D across the state,” Young continued.

Young’s release goes on to describe the Tech Hubs program, explaining that the designation endorses a region’s strategy for their technology focus, which includes job creation, strengthening the economy and national security. He and the rest of the Indiana congressional delegation sent a letter of support on behalf of Heartland BioWorks.

About the applicants

Heartland BioWorks, based in central Indiana and headed by the Applied Research Institute, includes several Indiana stakeholders working to not only develop bioproducts stateside but to also produce them domestically. The Economic Development Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, made the selection.

Several entities will partner with the Applied Research Institute as part of the hub, including:


  • Elevate Ventures

  • The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals

  • Purdue University Manufacturing Extension Partnership

“The Economic Development Administration, with this designation, confirms what we here in Indiana have known for a long time—that the Hoosier state is a global pioneer in biotech production,” Applied Research Institute CEO Dave Roberts said in a release. “Heartland BioWorks is securing America’s biotech future, and this Hub will provide biotech startups with access to manufacturing facilities and expertise, implement the workforce training future biotech innovations require, and focus on engaging innovators in historically underserved communities.”

The state of Indiana filed as part of the application alongside Applied Research Institute, as well as the city governments of Indianapolis and Fishers. Higher education partners include: Indiana University, Ivy Tech Community College, Martin University, Purdue University, University of Notre Dame, Valparaiso University and the Tougaloo College Research and Development Foundation.

“This is just the news we hoped to receive. The EDA’s designation of Heartland BioWorks as a Regional Tech Hub is a recognition of Indiana’s rich tradition of innovation and leadership in both the manufacturing and life science sectors,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said in the release. “We‘ll continue to strongly support the Hub and look forward to moving forward in the process.”

Investments and grant dollars will “nurture industry-specific startups … driving life-changing products and life-saving solutions,” according to David Rosenberg, the Indiana Secretary of Commerce.

“This will also create profound opportunities for our state’s brightest minds to innovate and collaborate, while cementing the U.S. and Indiana as the leading hub for biotech manufacturing,” Rosenberg continued.

The hub will initially focus in three areas: BioTrain, BioLaunch and BioMake — technology gaps identified by the federal government in both the region and the nation.

The BioTrain portion will be a training institute established at the 16 Tech Innovation District in downtown Indianapolis coordinated with Ivy Tech. BioLaunch will ensure that startups at the hub won’t need to offshore production and keep manufacturing jobs in the United States. Lastly, BioMake will provide resources and funding as well as access to a partner facility for testing and demonstrating biomanufacturing technologies.

An incomplete list of partners

Industry  partners include:

  • BiomEdit

  • Catalent

  • Cook Medical

  • Corteva Agriscience

  • Elanco

  • Eli Lilly and Company

  • Evonik Industries

  • Genezen

  • INCOG BioPharma Services

  • Langham Logistics

  • MBX Biosciences

  • Roche

Economic development organizations involved include:

  • 16 Tech Community Corporation

  • Agrinovus

  • AnalytixIN

  • BioCrossroads

  • Central Indiana Regional Development Authority

  • Conexus

  • Indiana Biosciences Research Institute

  • Purdue Center for Regional Development

  • TechPoint

  • The Central Indiana Corporate Partnership

Labor and workforce partners include:

  • Ascend

  • Central Indiana Building and Construction Trades Council

  • EmployIndy

  • INVets

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Whitney Downard
Whitney Downard

A native of upstate New York, Whitney previously covered statehouse politics for CNHI’s nine Indiana papers, focusing on long-term healthcare facilities and local government. Prior to her foray into Indiana politics, she worked as a general assignment reporter for The Meridian Star in Meridian, Mississippi. Whitney is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University (#GoBonnies!), a community theater enthusiast and cat mom.