The same sort of market forces that fueled Detroit’s automotive growth and made Silicon Valley a magnet for high tech has turned Indiana into a leader in life sciences, says Brian Stemme, a project director for BioCrossroads.
Stemme will provide a view into the state’s recent healthcare and life sciences developments – and the opportunities they present for writers and other communications professionals – on Saturday, April 22 at the Indiana AMWA chapter conference.
More than a century ago, Revra Depuy founded a splint-making business in Warsaw, Indiana. An employee, Justin Zimmer, later split off to found his own namesake company. Now Warsaw is home to 33 percent of the global orthopedics industry, according to BioCrossroads, which provides investment, education, and connections to support the state’s life-sciences industries. Similarly, Lilly helped propel the growth of an extensive Indianapolis-area pharmaceutical support network, Stemme says.
Today, Indiana’s life sciences firms provide employment to more than 56,000 workers, who bring home an average salary more than double the typical private-sector pay, according to BioCrossroads. The industry also accounts for $9.6 billion in exports – more than one-quarter of the state’s total.
One characteristic these companies tend to share is a need for experts who are skilled at collecting and communicating scientific data. At many businesses, that need is growing, Stemme says.
“Medical devices, especially orthopedics, I see being about 5 years behind pharma from a regulatory perspective. The more heavily regulated these industries become, the more opportunities there are for communicators, whether that’s in publications or for data that’s collected and provided to payers,” Stemme says. “We’re broadly diversified with pharma, medical devices, and ag tech. All of them are under increasing scrutiny and pressure, and they’re going to have to work with stakeholders and gather more information that’s disseminated in an effective way.”
Stemme noted that BioCrossroads, as part of its mission to create new collaborations between Indiana businesses, helps provide regular networking opportunities.
Its Frameworx initiative, for example, hosts periodic programs that explore topics such as microbiome research and the impact of life sciences on public health. It also supports Indy Science Connect, which holds events for professionals in the health sciences community to learn more about new opportunities in the area.
The AMWA conference will provide another venue for the state’s medical writers to expand their professional network. “There’s a lot going on, and if they haven’t heard about it, let’s get them connected!” Stemme says.
To learn more about the conference, visit the 2017 Indiana Chapter conference website.
Interview and summary by Eric Metcalf, MPH,
AMWA Indiana Chapter Communications, Marketing, and Social Media Chair