May 23, 2024

Gov. Holcomb announces new Purdue-Elanco Research Facility in newly-created OneHealth Innovation District

Purdue President Mung Chiang and Elanco CEO Jeff Simmons join Gov. Holcomb to unveil a globally recognized research facility at Indiana’s 2024 Global Economic Summit

Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced today that Purdue University will partner with Elanco Animal Health and become the newest addition to Indiana’s newly-created OneHealth Innovation District. The announcement was made 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 near the future Elanco Global Headquarters 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.”

Developing the OneHealth Innovation District surrounding the new Elanco Global Headquarters presents a unique opportunity to enable a coordinated partnership between public, private, government, university and community that will attract and retain top talent and drive growth and development for downtown Indianapolis. One Health is recognized by scientific institutions including the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as being a preferred approach to solving for health issues where the interconnection between human, animal and plant science can help solve complex global health problems.

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).

Fulfilling Governor Holcomb’s Tech Hub Vision

This new announcement is yet another step forward to bring to fruition Governor Holcomb’s goal of developing a regional technology hub in Indiana. Following the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act, through the newly constituted Applied Research Institute (ARI), Indiana stood up Heartland BioWorks and was designated as one of 31 Tech Hubs in October of last year by the Economic Development Administration (EDA). The One Health Innovation District is part of that consortium, and any implementation funding from the EDA would support and greatly accelerate the District’s capability to translate innovative ideas into real-world products and job opportunities. With awards expected this summer, Heartland BioWorks now awaits word on whether it will be chosen for the next phase of funding that will invest another $50-$75M in five to 10 designated hubs around the country. This Regional Tech Hub Program was authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act, which Indiana’s U.S. Senator Todd Young was a co-sponsor. 

Purdue and Elanco in collaboration with Applied Research Institute, AgriNovus, BiomEdit and others are planning a OneHealth Summit for fall to showcase the ecosystem of capabilities and draw the first era of innovators to the OneHealth District.