Indiana’s applied research institute secures regional tech hub

INDIANAPOLIS – The Applied Research Institute, Inc. (“ARI”) announced today that the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration has designated Heartland BioWorks as a Regional Technology and Innovation Hub. Heartland BioWorks will now compete against other designated hubs for implementation grants of up to $75 million each later this year.

Heartland BioWorks

The Regional Tech Hub designation, and the funding that follows, will support the acceleration of workforce development and help dismantle barriers to success for entrepreneurs and small business owners with new biotech products.

Led by the Applied Research Institute, Heartland BioWorks is a consortium of Indiana stakeholders driven by strong collaborative innovation practices to ensure that bioproducts invented in America are also produced domestically. Indiana’s Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson metropolitan statistical area features the unmatched collection of resources and capabilities necessary to become the world-leading force that secures our nation’s biomanufacturing future. The region is home to landmark industry leaders that span the bio-ecosystem; R1 institutions focused on biotechnology and manufacturing innovations; coordinated state-regional-local prioritization of life sciences to advance economic opportunities; a rapidly growing venture ecosystem; and significant biotech investment momentum.

Applied Research Institute Chief Executive Officer Dave Roberts

“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,” said Applied Research Institute Chief Executive Officer Dave Roberts. “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.” 

Senator Todd Young

“When I authored the Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs program, my goal was to spur more innovation in technologies of the future in places like Indiana, rather than just Silicon Valley and a few coastal cities,” said Indiana Senator Todd Young. “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.” 

Governor Eric Holcomb

“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,” said Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb. “We‘ll continue to strongly support the Hub and look forward to moving forward in the process.” 

Indiana Secretary of Commerce David Rosenberg

“This new Tech Hub designation is yet another win for Indiana as we work to foster and cultivate the industries of tomorrow,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce David Rosenberg. “Heartland BioWorks’ multifaceted approach to advancing biotechnology and biomanufacturing will nurture industry-specific startups, investments, and R&D, driving life-changing products and life-saving solutions leveraged across the world. 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.”   

“Today’s announcement is another step toward Central Indiana leading the country in innovation and unlocking the opportunity to bring millions of dollars in Federal funding to achieve those goals,” said Central Indiana Regional Development Authority executive director Jennifer Messer. “CIRDA’s collaboration with and support of ARI to secure this designation will impact the Central Indiana region for decades to come.” 

Fisher Mayor Scott Fadness

“As Fishers grows its foothold in the life science industry, it’s critical that we tap into every resource available to reinvest in key sectors, workforce, and innovation,” remarked Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness. “Today’s announcement opens up the possibilities we’ve been working toward and we look forward to collaborating with ARI and our collaboration partners to execute on this opportunity.” 

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett

“As the birthplace of the historic, world pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co., and as the recipient of more than $1.5 billion in new biotech investment in under a decade, Indianapolis has an attractive portfolio in this field,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “That was why the City of Indianapolis was proud to join and advocate on behalf of Heartland BioWorks. The news of the Regional Tech Hub designation represents an enormous potential for employability and prosperity in Indianapolis.” 

Indiana stakeholders have described the need for more dedicated manufacturing operations and innovation space. The Regional Tech Hubs program will catalyze further production, which will foster innovation and encourage more businesses to start and grow in Indiana.   

Heartland BioWorks will initially focus on three integrated activities that address “biotechnology, medical technology, genomics, and synthetic biology” gaps identified by the Economic Development Administration in both the region and nation: 


BioWorks Training Institute: BioWorks will establish an institute to provide training and industry work experiences to prepare trainees for high-paying jobs that support the growing biomanufacturing sector. The institute will be established at the 16 Tech Innovation District, located in a historically vibrant, now underserved, neighborhood in downtown Indianapolis, and leverage the nation’s largest community college system, Ivy Tech. 


BioWorks Bioproduct Launch Network: Small biotechs and startups are often forced to offshore their production because they lack the resources and scale needed to work with U.S. contract development and manufacturing organizations or justify the development of their own production facility. BioLaunch will coordinate and implement mechanisms to access the region’s contract manufacturers and distributors, addressing lab-to-launch gaps, while keeping innovations, intellectual property, and jobs in the US. 


BioWorks Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Network: The White House, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, all recognize that America’s biopharma manufacturing sector must continue to modernize to remain competitive and deliver value to patients. BioMake will provide resources, funding, and coordinated access to a partner facility dedicated to testing and demonstrating next-generation biomanufacturing technologies (e.g., high-intensity processing, continuous manufacturing, advanced automation, online analytics, intelligent sensors, modular production, AI/ML) to improve the efficiency, capability, and cost of operations. 

This is the third federal hub designation secured by Applied Research Institute-led and supported coalitions in the past month, including the Department of Defense Microelectronics Commons technology hub designation of Silicon Crossroads and the Department of Energy Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs designations of the Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen (MachH2). This will potentially lead to hundreds of millions in investments secured by the Applied Research Institute for the State of Indiana in the coming months.  

Additional information about the Heartland Bioworks Regional Technology Hub can be found at: