Indiana: A State That Works for Life Sciences

13 Jan, 2015

By: Governor Michael R. Pence

With world-class universities, sound fiscal policy and a pro-business environment, Indiana delivers the resources and the people life science companies need to compete and win in the global marketplace. 

Case in point: Indiana is the orthopedics capital of the world, which is not only a testament to the state’s potential to have some of the largest medical device manufacturers on Indiana soil, but also the ability to maintain an attractive environment to retain operations in the state. Indiana is also home to the world’s largest private medical device manufacturer.

Obviously, top-notch products and a vision to continually innovate and develop the devices that medical professionals and their patients have come to rely on are the keys to that success story. But businesses across all sectors enjoy the competitive advantages afforded to them through Indiana’s sound fiscal policies, low tax structure and cooperation between the public and private sector.

So what is the secret formula that makes this possible? Actually, it’s no secret that from the top down, Indiana’s entire government administration has been structured to help businesses bring home more money to their organizations, their investors and their employees by keeping business costs and regulation at the lowest levels possible. Indiana has the resources and the will to create long-term solutions for business, and those efforts are deliberately focused on building a precision economy that is balanced, efficient and powerful.

Indiana has spent years balancing the state budget, eliminating excess and red tape and today the Hoosier State is one of only a handful of U.S. states with a AAA credit rating and an actual budget surplus. That position allows for investing in the infrastructure to keep Indiana moving forward and to maintain economic stability that keeps business costs low for a strong and stable economic future.

Indiana is lowering business taxes this year, next year and every year after that for the next seven years. The Hoosier state is also the No. 1 state for regulatory freedom and it’s defining a new standard of opportunity for businesses to reach their full potential. But it’s more than just Indiana’s rankings and balance sheet. 

Life sciences companies in particular are looking for advantages that stem from access to the latest innovations in science and technology. Indiana is home to world-class colleges and universities, including such renowned names as Indiana University, Purdue University, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Butler University and the University of Notre Dame. Indiana universities play a significant role in making the Hoosier State a leader in life sciences through research, education and workforce development. They also support incubation programs, research parks and communications complexes that create economic opportunity through advanced technology and education.

In addition to Indiana-based pharmaceutical and medical device industry leaders like Eli Lilly and Company, Zimmer, Biomet, DePuy Orthopedics and Cook Medical, the state also is home to WellPoint, the nation’s largest health benefits company; Roche Diagnostics, the top medical diagnostics company in the world; and the internationally recognized Regenstrief Institute, home of the largest coded, continuously operated electronic medical records system in the United States.

Indiana also has attracted several companies that are addressing the challenges of healthcare and decreasing the overall cost of pharmaceutical care for all patients. Companies such as Express Scripts, Medco and CVS Caremark all have established major pharmaceutical distribution and management facilities in Indiana.

Indiana’s life sciences industry partnerships provide the necessary resources to make the state a national and international life sciences center while creating a flourishing, vibrant environment for new start-up companies and entrepreneurs. Indiana life sciences organizations represent an abundance of top research and academic programs, with affiliated incubators working in tandem to develop commercial opportunities in a variety of fields. BioCrossroads is aimed at developing specific collaborations between and within the region’s research universities, government and private industry. The Indiana Health Industry Forum is devoted to creating an environment where Indiana is a premier location for the creation and growth of successful health industry enterprises. 

Obviously, developing innovative products is crucial for life science companies to maintain a competitive edge in the 21st century marketplace.  But with any company, distribution cost and efficiency are always major variables affecting profitability, and Indiana also has the infrastructure, location and cost structure to deliver the goods for life science companies.  With the world’s second-largest FedEx hub, three international ports, a vast network of highway and rail connections, Indiana has a strategic advantage for delivering products to the rest of the country and the world.  Indiana’s central location allows access to 80 percent of the United State’s population in a single day’s highway transport.

By providing better connections at a lower cost, and by working together to strengthen the entire region, Indiana is unapologetically bold about emerging as a regional epicenter for business and opportunity.

Part of strengthening a region’s connectivity involves investing in infrastructure, and Indiana’s current Interstate 69 project is one of the only new interstate projects in the country. I-69 is blazing a new pathway through the Hoosier State as part of Indiana’s pre-funded $10 billion major moves program. Indiana also offers an incredible time savings for freight switching modes in the region. Freight containers coming through the Canadian National Railroad combined with container ships coming out of Vancouver from Asia are all linked directly to Indy nonstop. This new intermodal rail solution to Asia will save Hoosier companies millions in drayage and detention costs that Chicago used to charge. Bypassing Chicago will also save businesses up to six days in transport time

These projects are important aspects to keeping Indiana’s life science products moving quickly and efficiently, not just to U.S. markets but to customers in the global marketplace. According to the most recent industry report from BioCrossroads, Indiana’s life sciences exports totaled $9.7 billion, the second highest in the United States. 

Because of strong leadership and a commitment to fiscal responsibility, Indiana has earned a pro-business and low tax reputation and has proven that the Hoosier State can compete and win new business in the global marketplace, not just in the life sciences industry, but in a wide range of business sectors. 

The bottom line is Indiana is building economic strength and momentum, and it’s propelling the state on a trajectory toward growth and prosperity.  Indiana is serious about bringing together the people, the resources and the freedom for life science companies to succeed on their own terms, and it’s all happening right now, in a state that works.