So maybe you read the articles in The Herald Times about Bloomington, IN tribulations with the life sciences industry. While our finger isn’t quite on Bloomington’s pulse, Creo Quality has been paying attention. Both Scott and I have roots and connections in the Bloomington area. I spent seven years of my career working for one of the large medical device companies in Bloomington. Scott now calls the area home.
The companies that are the pillars of Bloomington are in the life science industry. A generation ago, though, this was not the case. Large industrial manufacturing facilities employed thousands in this community. People from surrounding counties and towns flocked to Bloomington for decent, high paying jobs. Most of these companies have shut down their Bloomington operations, leaving the life sciences companies to save the day.
For some reason, the life sciences industry has curb appeal. I guess it relates to saving and improving quality of life. When talking about life sciences in Indiana, you have to discuss Bloomington–often times ahead of Indianapolis.
But now everyone wants the life sciences industry to stimulate the renaissance of Bloomington. For this to happen, industry needs to cooperate with research institutions (namely Indiana University), researchers need to cooperate with those in the civic space (local government), and the civic space needs to cooperate with industry.
There needs to be a sound strategy with implementation. This is tough to do because there are many people, organizations, companies, egos, etc. Everyone wants to get credit for something. To sum it up:
â€œWe have been talking â€˜high-techâ€™ in this community for 30 years,â€ Bill Cook is quoted as saying. â€œNot much has come of it. There is a lot of talk. I am not sure there are a whole lot of ideas.â€ (Quote from IBJ article “Trouble in life-sciences paradise”)