John L. Krauss, director of the Indiana University Public Policy Institute and its Center for Urban Policy and the Environment, recently authored Collective Pride, Worthy Choices, a compelling column on the importance of viewing Central Indiana and Indianapolis as a larger, dynamically interconnected region. The column was originally published in the February 6, 2011 Sunday edition of The Indianapolis Star and was later posted on the Urbanophile blog.
Through a competitive grant awarded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Indiana Business Research Center (IBRC) of the Kelley School of Business has developed an Index of Innovation that is usable at the county level and for multi-county regions. While previous research in this area examined innovation at state level or within larger metropolitan statistical areas, the IBRC recognized that local and regional economic development practitioners need more granular data applicable to any region, of any size, in the country.
The Innovation Index for America’s Regions, whose development was led by Tim Slaper of the IBRC, provides an overall innovation index for any county or multi-county region, along with sub-indexes addressing the key dimensions of human capital, economic dynamism, productivity and employment, and economic well-being. In turn, each of these sub-indexes is comprised of several indicators. The Innovation Index was created through joint research with the Purdue Center for Regional Development.
Data for all levels are available on the IBRC’s Innovation in American Regions web site. The web site includes a variety of useful data tools, including a just-released interactive innovation map that enables the index values for any county to be highlighted. This seminal work has received national awards for excellence and has been highlighted by the EDA in its newsletters and by other national economic development groups. A value-added resource, the Innovation Index represents another way IU is advancing economic development in Indiana and beyond.
The full press release detailing the Innovation Index and its reported results for 2011 can be accessed here.
Written by Guest Blogger: Brad Fravel, Senior Technology Manager
Phone: (317) 278-1916
Recently, the Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation (IURTC) hosted its first Inventors’ Reception. The event was held at the Skyline Club in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, providing attendees a stunning view of the city while they socialized. The reception recognized university researchers who had recently disclosed new inventions to IURTC. Also in attendance were spouses, as well as, attorneys from Bingham McHale, a local intellectual property law firm that helped sponsor the event.
Everyone enjoyed the delicious hors d’oeuvres and the festive atmosphere. It was a great night that allowed inventors, spouses and technology commercialization staff to network and socialize outside of their usual circles. The occasion proved especially beneficial to a few researchers that made new contacts with potential collaborators. For instance, Afshin Izadian, Ph.D., an Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor in IUPUI’s Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, and Robert Bacallao, MD, a Professor of Medicine in the IU School of Medicine, have now begun exploring the ways their research programs could benefit from working together on advanced medical imaging technologies.
However, the night was not all business. Along with the friendly conversation and the founding of new connections, the event also offered a chance to win a wonderful door prize. The West Baden Hotel donated a weekend stay and dinner for two at the French Lick Resort for a lucky attendee. The relaxed, casual atmosphere was just right for discussions with colleagues and new acquaintances, and although it seemed to end too soon, there’s little doubt that everyone felt it was time well spent.
New innovative technologies patented through public university research will be featured at a free business conference next week. During the 2011 Southwest Indiana Technology Showcase, Purdue University and Indiana University will present technologies that have commercialization potential for both existing companies and new startup businesses.
The February 25 event will be held at the Aztar Executive Conference Center in Evansville from 8:30 a.m. to noon. It is open to entrepreneurs, investors and financiers, business and community leaders, and technology specialists. Registration is required and can be accessed online.
From the Linda and Jack Gill Center for Biomolecular Science (GCBS) website:
The Linda and Jack Gill Center for Biomolecular Science (GCBS) was established to advance the understanding of complex biological processes and to train next generation scientists in state-of-the-art biomolecular measurements, especially in the field of neuroscience. Collaborations include Indiana University’s world-class Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychological and Brain Sciences, Neuroscience, and the School of Medicine.
Vast new research in neurosciences creates unprecedented opportunities to understand human brain functions, mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases, the molecular basis of learning and memory, and the roots of chronic pain and addiction.
Traditionally-trained scientists (in the fields of anatomy, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, membrane biophysics, pharmacology, physiology, and psychology) already have made major contributions to modern neuroscience. Training next-generation researchers requires an even greater emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches. The GCBS is organized to facilitate and incentivize such collaborations.
The Innovate Indiana Fund, IU’s $10 million seed stage fund, recently closed its initial series of investments. Three Indianapolis-based companies, each affiliated with leading research at the IU School of Medicine or the university’s exploration of digital delivery of educational resources, form the foundation of the Innovate Indiana Fund portfolio. These companies include: Aarden Pharmaceuticals, ApeX Therapeutics, and Courseload.
Aarden Pharmaceuticals, located in IU’s Emerging Technology Center in Indianapolis, is a small molecule drug discovery and development company that uses novel technology developed in the labs of IU School of Medicine researchers. Aarden’s cutting-edge technology will enable the company to make drugs for a previously unaddressed set of intracellular phosphatase (PTP) disease targets. Aarden’s initial programs are focused on infectious disease, cancer, metabolic and autoimmune conditions.
ApeX Therapeutics, a joint startup between cancer researchers at IU and Purdue University, is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel pharmaceuticals for the treatment of pancreatic and brain cancers in addition to age-related macular degeneration.
Courseload, co-founded by an IU professor from the Kelley School of Business, is located in the Emerging Technology Center. This high-tech electronic media delivery company specializes in providing higher educational learning resources including textbooks, lectures and other forms of rich media through innovative collaborative Web and stand-alone software platforms.
Funded solely from university and private donor sources, the Innovate Indiana Fund was created to serve as a vital source of seed capital for IU-affiliated companies and entrepreneurs, helping address the critical capital gap often facing early stage startups along the path to technology commercialization. The Innovate Indiana Fund also connects portfolio companies to the business planning, development resources, and commercialization expertise of the IU Research and Technology Corporation.
By Kirk White
I recently attended a national meeting of higher education leaders where several business leaders discussed the challenges of connecting with universities. Robert K. Utley, a commercial real estate developer said, “colleges and universities are complicators, not simplifiers. The biggest problem is that higher education doesn’t have a common language.” I agree with his point. As with any discipline, in order to do business you have to learn the terminology and lingo. In Indiana, we have a unique tool that helps business, industry, researchers, non-profits or anyone who needs to connect to higher education resouces. I encourage you to check out Indure, the Indiana Database of University Research Expertise. It is a joint effort by the IEDC, IU, Purdue, Ball State and Notre Dame to offer a searchable database of university academic experts form all four top-ranked Indiana institutions.
The state of Indiana was among the big movers in the Milken Institute’s recently released 2010 State Technology and Science Index. The report specifically highlighted Indiana University’s key role in contributing to the state’s gains:
Indiana’s gains are across several categories, but the risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure component is responsible for the bulk of its overall advance from 33rd to 28th this year. Indiana vaulted from 37th in 2008 to 19th in that category, and ranked fourth in venture capital growth this year, gaining ground in both venture capital relative to GSP (from 26th to 17th) and business start-up rates (also 26th to 17th).
Indiana University has grown more aggressive in supporting new firm birth, launching a venture capital fund to invest in technology start-ups and dedicating a new Innovation Center in late 2009. “Indiana University understands the need for commercially-focused research and technology development and the important role the university plays in serving as a catalyst for economic growth for Indiana,” IU President Michael McRobbie said.
The White House has launched a new public/private initiative to spur U.S. entrepreneurship with the goal of increasing the number and scale of new high-growth firms that are in turn creating new economic growth, innovation, and quality jobs. Chaired by Steve Case, the co-founder of AOL, the Startup America Partnership includes investment commitments from Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Intel. Facebook is participating in the initiative as well with an entrepreneur mentorship program called Startup Days.
- Expand access to capital for high-growth startups throughout the country;
- Expand entrepreneurship education and mentorship programs that empower more Americans not just to create new jobs;
- Strengthen commercialization of the $148 billion in annual federally-funded research and development, which can generate innovative startups and entirely new industries;
- Identify and remove unnecessary barriers to high-growth startups; and
- Expand collaborations between large companies and startups.
More detail on the specific commitments of Startup America Partnership initiative can be found here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/startup-america-fact-sheet
What does a cotton bracelet, a food tour in Washington D.C., and new kind of flooring have in common? They are products or services offered by three start-up companies whose owners started their companies with less than $150. They are also the subject of a recent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled Start-Ups on a Shoestring. The article provides an insightful look into the entrepreneurial spirit that drives small business. I found this article fascinating because it doesn’t credit the success of these entrepreneurs to anything but hard work and intuitiveness. Not only was their common thread hard work and little money, these business savvy people were also tech savvy. My suggestion: click the link below and read the full article. You may find some helpful hints or simply be encouraged by start-up successes.