Purdue, Elanco to Share Research Facilities at New Downtown Indy Innovation District


Purdue University and Elanco Animal Health have announced a partnership to share research facilities at Indiana’s newly-created OneHealth Innovation District, which will be located near the future Elanco Global Headquarters in downtown Indianapolis.

The announcement was made Thursday by Gov. Eric Holcomb (R-IN) at Indiana’s 2024 Global Economic Summit after Purdue President Mung Chiang and Jeff Simmons, Elanco CEO, signed a shared memorandum of understanding with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) to establish a globally recognized research innovation district dedicated to optimizing the health of people, animals, plants and the planet.

Purdue and Elanco have committed to develop a new shared-use facility on three acres in the OneHealth Innovation District on the western edge of the White River. The facility is designed to deliver and scale-up innovation where industry and academia can collaborate including office, wet lab and incubator space. This is in addition to the nearly complete 220,000 square foot corporate headquarters of Elanco Animal Health, with an expected opening date in the second quarter of 2025. Elanco also announced its commitment to purchase an additional 12 acres from to the north of its existing footprint for future expansion and the development of the Epicenter for Animal Health.

“The research facility will propel the state’s vision to anchor our regional technology hub as a key addition to the One Health Innovation District aimed at accelerating collaborative innovation in our life sciences,” Gov. Holcomb said. “The partnership marks a rare and noteworthy move wherein a global health company, a university and a government come together with a shared vision. The district will create an ecosystem that is focused on talent, applied research and innovation that can be sustained for generations to come.”

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (far left) announcing the partnership between Purdue University and Elanco Animal Health to share research facilities at the newly-created One Health Innovation District in downtown Indianapolis. Also pictured: Elanco CEO Jeff Simmons (center) and Purdue University President Mung Chiang (at right). Photo provided by the Office of  Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Elanco also announced several commitments to accelerate the OneHealth Innovation District, including a commitment to share technology development capacity in its current Indianapolis facility and eventually in the OneHealth Innovation District. Technical development facilities to bring an idea from proof of concept to pilot manufacturing and then to scale is a unique feature not offered in other animal health development areas and is often a major roadblock in bioscience innovation. Additionally, Elanco plans to contribute up to $2 million of initial funding to jumpstart a new Animal Health Venture Fund to support early-stage innovators, in close coordination with the IEDC to take advantage of available tools and programs that support start-up activity in this space.

“For life-changing innovations to move from idea to reality, they must grow in the right environment,’” said Jeff Simmons, Elanco President and CEO. “The many partners in the Indianapolis’ OneHealth Innovation District will set Indianapolis apart as an area where innovators will find a vast ecosystem of support, including one of the world’s leading universities, funding, lab space, collaboration with many other innovators and companies and most significantly shared technical development and pilot plant facilities to manufacture and scale innovations. We believe connecting innovators with access to world-class, state-of-the-art resources will help bring solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues facing people, animals and the environment. This is a key milestone in bringing to life our goal of creating an Animal Health Epicenter to reach the world’s animals from our new global headquarters in the heart of Indianapolis.”

The unique partnership is designed to increase the ability to prevent, predict, detect and respond to health threats. One Health integrated approaches are widely recognized as the new frontier in biosciences.

“Totality of Purdue to the totality of Indianapolis – that’s our pledge as the Indianapolis part of Purdue’s main campus officially launches on July 1,” said Purdue president Mung Chiang. “In the coming years, all programs at Purdue will find homes throughout our state’s capital city. Today’s announcement carries a special excitement for the partnership and the location. Purdue is excited to partner with Elanco and other collaborators to build out the ecosystem of OneHealth Innovation District, starting from the building announced and expanding to an entire district. Human health, animal health, plant health will be jointly advanced by the nation’s leading company and our state’s top ranked university.”

The facility will help extend Purdue’s substantial research arm into the heart of Indianapolis, coinciding with the launch of the university’s urban extension, Purdue University in Indianapolis, on July 1. Research interests will include understanding of the microbiome, antimicrobial resistance, computational biology, comparative genomics and livestock sustainability, among others. Indianapolis is home to the biotech companies that are on the cutting edge of the revolution in animal health (Elanco), human health (Eli Lilly & Company) and plant health (Corteva).