INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 13, 2017) — AgriNovus Indiana, a food and agriculture innovation initiative, will use a two-year, $4.2 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support strategic programs to meet the education, talent and entrepreneurship needs of the growing agbiosciences sector in Indiana. The grant was made to the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) Foundation, which supports the charitable, educational and scientific purposes of CICP. CICP is the nonprofit parent organization of six economic development initiatives, including AgriNovus.

To encourage others interested in the agbioscience sector to support AgriNovus, $500,000 of the grant is subject to matching conditions.

AgriNovus is focused on advancing the agbiosciences sector through strengthening public awareness, building a 21st century agbiosciences workforce, researching and identifying the growth opportunities to create a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, and developing strategic collaborations among partners to promote innovation.

“Indiana’s agbiosciences sector has a $16 billion impact on the state and employs 75,000 Hoosiers,” said Beth Bechdol, president and CEO of AgriNovus Indiana. “AgriNovus is now perfectly positioned to design and launch impactful programs around public education and awareness, talent and workforce, and entrepreneurial support. We appreciate the generous support of Lilly Endowment in these efforts.”

AgriNovus has identified three key strategies that are crucial to enhancing Indiana’s efforts to make it a recognized agbiosciences industry leader in the development of new, innovative products and services. They are:

  • Developing general and targeted public education initiatives to raise awareness about the agbiosciences sector and the opportunities it offers;
  • Supporting talent and workforce development efforts to create a pipeline of professionals trained for and excited by agbiosciences careers in Indiana; and
  • Identifying best practices in entrepreneurial growth and investment to leverage Indiana’s agbiosciences resources.

“Few states possess the academic, corporate and agricultural production assets that make Indiana a national leader in this sector,” said Ace Yakey, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for community development. “AgriNovus is poised to increase awareness of the sector and help build an environment that encourages the growth of meaningful employment opportunities in Indiana communities and the workforce to take advantage of these opportunities.”

AgriNovus will continue to strengthen the state’s agbiosciences sector through initiatives already in place such as the #timetotell public outreach campaign and the annual Indiana Agbiosciences Innovation Summit (November 29, 2017), among others. AgriNovus’ stakeholders include business, university, community and government leaders with an interest in Indiana’s diverse food and agricultural sector.

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About AgriNovus Indiana
AgriNovus Indiana is the state’s food and agriculture innovation initiative focused on advancing the sector as a nationally recognized leader through education, research and talent development; strategic collaborations among corporations, industry associations, government and universities; the creation and support of new companies; and branding and targeted promotions to elevate the sector. AgriNovus Indiana is part of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), an effort dedicated to Indiana’s continued prosperity and growth. Contact AgriNovus Indiana to learn more.

About Lilly Endowment

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a national private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family — J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli — through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

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Libby Fritz
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