Indiana University

News Release

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Last modified: Thursday, August 25, 2011

IU research expenditures surpass $500 million mark in FY 2011

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Aug. 25, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- For the first time ever, Indiana University research expenditures have exceeded $500 million in a single fiscal year.

Research expenditures reflect the actual dollars spent to support research programs at the university. During the 2010-11 fiscal year (July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011), IU expended a record-breaking $509 million on its faculty research efforts, representing a 7 percent increase over the previous fiscal year's total of $475 million, as calculated for the National Science Foundation's Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey.

"Our faculty and staff should feel immense pride in this extraordinary achievement," said IU President Michael A. McRobbie. "To surpass a half-billion dollars in total research expenditures for the first time in the university's history -- and to surge forward at a time of major economic uncertainty -- is testament to the quality of IU research, the ingenuity and productivity of our faculty, and the significance of the work they are undertaking.

"Research is vital to our growth as a university, but it also is of tremendous importance to the economic development of our state," McRobbie added. "Our faculty discoveries -- which continue to lead to the creation of new start-up companies, the licensing of new software, the development of new medical treatments and the commercialization of new technologies -- have a direct impact on strengthening the state's economic infrastructure and improving the quality of life for all Hoosiers."

Though the university has recently received major external support for research, including a record-breaking $604 million in grants and awards during the 2009-10 fiscal year, research expenditures can provide a more accurate indicator of the scope and economic impact of university's research activity, according to IU Vice President for Research Jorge Josť.

"We are, of course, delighted when our faculty receive awards such as those from the National Science Foundation or the National Institutes of Health," said Josť. "But awards are a promise of money to come, while expenditures are actual dollars spent to advance Indiana University's research during a given fiscal year. These expenditures not only reflect high activity among IU faculty, but also have a significant 'ripple effect' as that money is infused into the state's larger economy."

Josť noted that longstanding analyses of a university's economic impact on its region estimate that each dollar spent by a university on research generates $2.30 in impact.

"This $509 million in research expenditures represents about a $1.17 billion economic impact on the state of Indiana," he said.

Among other areas, IU's economic impact is reflected in the number of start-up companies the university has helped launch, particularly those in information technology and the life sciences. In the last fiscal year, the university experienced its best year ever in the number (seven) of start-ups created by licensing IU technologies ranging from new therapeutics and medical devices to green energy technologies.

IU's concerted effort to bring new faculty discoveries to the marketplace was further evidenced by the December acquisition by Roche of Carmel, Ind.-based Marcadia Biotech, a start-up company founded in 2005 by IU Bloomington chemistry professor Richard DiMarchi, in a deal worth up to $537 million. As part of the acquisition, Roche, which operates its North American diagnostic business out of Indianapolis, will now be leading the effort to develop IU treatments for obesity and diabetes.

Another IU startup, Xylogenics, is currently commercializing a breakthrough technology that was developed in a genomics lab at the IU School of Medicine and improves the production of ethanol, a renewable energy source that can supplement or replace gasoline as a source of transportation fuel, by 30 percent to 50 percent. Last year, the Indianapolis-based company secured a valuable partnership through a sublicense to Lallemand Ethanol Technology, a global leader in fermentation technology. At the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop held in Indianapolis in June, Lallemand announced the launch of its first product under the sublicense.

"Research is a growth industry for the state of Indiana," said Bill Stephan, IU vice president for economic development and engagement. "As we invest dollars in research, the returns, as evidenced by new discoveries and job creation, benefit our state."

The NSF HERD survey offers a complete picture of research activity, including externally funded expenditures, such as those resulting from internal grant programs. Internal university grant programs, such as the IU Collaborative Research Grants, IU Bloomington's Faculty Research Support Program and the IUPUI Signature Centers Initiative, are also included in the NSF data and contribute to the development of robust research activity across the university.

Conducted annually since 1972, the NSF survey is known as a primary source of comprehensive information on research and development expenditures by academic institutions in the United States and is the foundation for most national rankings of research universities.

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