October 5, 2010
The final day of The Chamber’s 8th Leadership Exchange to Indy started early and ended with a full flight to KC arriving late yesterday afternoon. And we even picked up a few prominent Kansas Citians in the
airport for the flight home – Father Tom Curran, president of Rockhurst University, and David Sallee, president of William Jewel College, both in Indy for the day for meetings and waiting on later flights.
The morning bus ride to the Monon Community Center in Carmel demonstrated that Indianapolis has a traffic and congestion problem – at least during rush hours. The panel of regional leaders at breakfast described a level of cooperation that while not perfect seemed stronger than we experience in the Kansas City region. There are non-compete agreements and an attitude that says what’s good for one part of the region is good for the entire area.
Day Three opened with a Table Topic Breakfast sponsored by AdamsGabbert. Each table featured an Indianapolis business, civic, or government leader answering questions from the delegation on their area of expertise. Dave Lawrence of the Arts Council of Indianapolis discussed the city’s amenities, opportunities, and challenges with a captivated audience. Other breakfast topics included economic development, education, sports, and government consolidation.
A suburban Chamber President said that it is in Indy’s DNA to question change; regionalism is not easy unless there is a crisis. But the concept of working together is powerful. One of biggest challenges facing central Indiana is creating synergies. Transportation/transit issues appear to be the next issue the region must tackle.
A lively discussion on regionalism in KC followed the panel discussion. Bob Marcusse of KCADC said that cooperation in our region makes us more competitive for net new growth from the outside and what’s good for one part of the area is good for the entire area.
Mayor Reardon of KCK/Wyandotte County Unified Government said that Mayors in his area meet regularly and when important development projects came up, they discussed and agreed to share revenue, no matter where the project ended up being located. He offered a suggestion – that Mayors from both sides of the state line should be meeting together on a regular basis.
Later was a very interesting presentation on Indiana BioCrossroads, Inc., held on the beautiful campus of Indiana University, Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI). David Johnson, president and CEO of BioCrossroads, and Craig Brater, Dean, Indiana School of Medicine, presented the state of bio-science development in Indiana. Life sciences accounts for 23% of Indiana job growth from 2001 -2007. They have added 600,000 ft of new space; recruited 500 new professionals in last three years. The challenge in 2002 when all this started was to build on base with existing companies, institutions, commercialization, etc.
Goals were to connect, spread the word, invest and educate. Indianapolis is home to the 9th largest life sciences corporate employment sector in U.S. It is a larger sector than Missouri. It doesn’t hurt that Indy is home to one of the nation’s leading and largest medical schools, I.U. School of Medicine. Has robust academic requirement. Key federal designations – CTSA and NCI – both are major goals in Kansas; Lilly Foundation is a huge player in life sciences as it is in most important community priorities. The Foundation has given approximately $260 M. Lilly became convinced life sciences should be a priority for the city and the state. None for bricks and mortar. IU Simon Cancer Center gave $50 M.
David Johnson, president and CEO, BioCrossroads, described the good working coalition with KCALSI and KBA. To kick-off BioCrossroads, they had to put together a fund of investors; 11 institutions put together a $73 million venture capital fund. Bio-Crossroads’ messaging and communication is internal to the people in their region, not external, and it is the best, strongest measure for internal growth. Let’s educate the people of Indy about this exciting new industry so they may better understand the potential and become supporters.
Craig Brather offered the advice to KC that the philanthropic organizations should come together to provide more support; lessen academic tensions in the area hospitals and think less about individuals and more about collective good. There’s wonderful opportunity in Kansas City in translational science capacity. But all this takes a considerable amount of money. There is realization that amenities are more spread out in KC. They advise that we not rely totally on the public sector because it will only fund certain things. We should find more ways for the private sector to invest.
Indianapolis has done an excellent job at assembling the components for a first-rate life science sector and the results are obvious. KC might be a bit behind Indy, in terms of time and scope of accomplishment, but we’re on our way. The consensus of the group was that KC should renew its effort to strengthen the life sciences industry here at home.
Tags: Bob Marcusse, Craig Brater, David Johnson, David Sallee, Father Tom Curran, Indiana BioCrossroads, Indiana School of Medicine, Kansas Bioscience Authority, KBA, KCADC, KCALSI, KCK/Wyandotte County Unified Government, life sciences, Lilly Foundation, Mayor Reardon, Monon Community Center, Purdue University, Rockhurst University, William Jewel College