94 years of economic insights for Indiana

The IBR is a publication of the Indiana Business Research Center at IU's Kelley School of Business

Summer 2009

Summer 2009 Indiana Business Review
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The Indiana Life Science Industry
By Matt Kinghorn and Timothy F. Slaper, Ph.D.

The Economic Footprint of Indiana’s Community Health Centers
By Timothy F. Slaper, Ph.D. and Michael F. Thompson, MA

From the Editor

What do the names Borkenstein, Brandon, Dick, Harger, Julian, Lilly, Muhler, Scholl, and Walker have in common?

The most recognizable belongs to pharmacist and inventor Colonel Eli Lilly, who shared the gift of Hoosier invention and ingenuity with the others. Each person listed lived in Indiana and worked famously within the life sciences. Robert Borkenstein and Rolla Harger (both of Indianapolis) each invented separate devices to test the levels of alcohol in the human body. Percy Julian's work (Greencastle) led to the use of synthetic cortisone and a drug for lowering blood pressure. Joseph Muhler (Fort Wayne) invented stannous fluoride, much to the delight of parents and dentists, while Madame C. J. Walker developed Tetter Salve as a remedy for skin diseases. Dr. George and Gladys Dick invented a test for scarlet fever, while William Scholl (La Porte) invented much needed arch supports for those of us working long hours on factory floors, while Wayne Brandon of Alexandria developed a pain-relieving glove for arthritis sufferers.

By employment numbers, the life science cluster is overshadowed by many other clusters of industry in this state. But by earnings potential and the wage per job (average: $81,900), it is a star that continues to rise despite the economic downturn. Its potential is what has seduced many states to set their sights on life sciences as an economic opportunity. But the majority of states don't have what Indiana already had for decades—a strong manufacturing base in chemicals. Kinghorn and Slaper provide us with a summary of their findings on the size, scale, and scope of life sciences in Indiana. Their report cements what those in the life sciences community already knew—life science is a dominant cluster in the state in terms of productivity and growth.

But wait there's more … We then turn to an estimation of the impact of community health centers within their counties and statewide. Estimating their impact based on the multiplicity of funding streams and the complexities of valuing volunteers yields interesting results and implications for the return on investment foundations and governments receive from these vital organizations.

–Carol O. Rogers, Executive Editor