July 3, 2024

Purdue, Heartland BioWorks partners secure $51M in federal funding for regional tech hub

Funding will energize workforce development and startup efforts in biomanufacturing industry

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University, as a member of Heartland BioWorks, will share $51 million in federal funding to bolster workforce development and business startup efforts in the state’s burgeoning biotechnology ecosystem. Awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, the funding will catalyze Indiana’s biotechnology innovation and manufacturing efforts, which are a pillar of Purdue’s recently announced One Health Innovation District.

One Health will also bolster the deep connections and research opportunities that will be offered through Purdue University in Indianapolis, which launched July 1 as the university’s urban campus.

Purdue President Mung Chiang said, “Through our outstanding faculty and students in One Health, Purdue University is excited to be part of the winning team in this critical national competition. Along with the Silicon Crossroads Microelectronics Commons hub and Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen hub wins, the BioWorks Regional Tech Hub is another important dimension of Applied Research Institute (ARI) and partners like Purdue executing for the success of the CHIPS and Science Act for our state and our country.” 


The Heartland BioWorks hub is one of 12 regional hubs across the U.S. selected to ensure the country is globally competitive in areas that are key to national security. The hubs will split $500 million in implementation funding that stems from the CHIPS and Science Act.

Announced last October by Applied Research Institute Inc. on behalf of the state, Heartland BioWorks brings together Indiana academic institutions, industry leaders, investors and nonprofit organizations to ensure that bioproducts invented in America are also produced domestically.

The biotechnology hub will develop new programs, infrastructure and networks to accelerate workforce development and help dismantle barriers to success for entrepreneurs and small-business owners with developing new biotech products.

“Indiana’s new Tech Hub designation has opened our state up to a next level of opportunities,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said. “Now that we have been awarded nearly $51 million to support the implementation, it’s full steam ahead in workforce development and building the specific talent pipelines to support the exact type of innovative business growth and entrepreneurship we want.”

This funding will catalyze biotechnology innovation and manufacturing in Indiana, cementing the state’s position as a national leader in the biotech industry and advanced manufacturing in plant, animal and human health.

BioWorks will support the national need for domestic manufacturing operations for new bioproducts and infrastructure dedicated to innovations in how those bioproducts are made, which will bring new bioproducts to market more quickly and encourage more businesses to start and grow in Indiana. 

Purdue’s strategic involvement in the Heartland BioWorks hub is led by the William D. and Sherry L. Young Institute for Advanced Manufacturing of Pharmaceuticals, which focuses on revolutionizing pharmaceutical manufacturing and making medicines more accessible, more affordable and more widely available.

The Young Institute, which was launched in 2022, is a critical component within the university’s One Health initiative and will provide hands-on training in advanced manufacturing technologies as part of BioTrain, a workforce initiative within Heartland Bioworks.

“The BioTrain Graduate Fellows program at Purdue will attract and train top-notch talent on future pharmaceutical manufacturing technologies,” said Alina Alexeenko, professor of aeronautics and astronautics and chemical engineering, who serves as Purdue’s principal investigator for the Heartland Bioworks project. “The training and curriculum development included in this program will help to increase the pipeline of talent needed in industry to support the revolution in pharmaceutical manufacturing.” 

BioTrain’s graduate fellows will engage in pharmaceutical manufacturing and develop training programs for industry. BioTrain also includes curriculum development for a pharmaceutical manufacturing certificate and a collaboration with Ivy Tech Community College. Training programs will focus on continuous processing and emerging technologies for sterile injectable drug products and vaccines.   

“Purdue’s research mission is dedicated to advancing national and economic security, and biotechnology and manufacturing, which are critical to our state,” said Karen Plaut, Purdue’s executive vice president for research. “We are thrilled to collaborate with our like-minded partners in the Heartland BioWorks hub and leverage our expertise and cutting-edge research to further enhance biomanufacturing across Indiana and throughout the nation.”

The Heartland BioWorks hub, one of 12 selected for funding, is the third successful federal hub designation for Purdue, along with the Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen, which is one of seven as designated by the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Silicon Crossroads Microelectronics Commons, which is one of eight as designated by the Department of Defense.

The participation of Purdue’s West Lafayette campus in the Microelectronics Commons hub is based on its strength in semiconductors. Purdue University Northwest is the only Indiana university in the hydrogen hub. 

Purdue is the country’s only institution of higher education that is a leading university partner in all three national hub wins in 2023-24, a one-in-3,000 competitive success. 

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a public research institution demonstrating excellence at scale. Ranked among top 10 public universities and with two colleges in the top four in the United States, Purdue discovers and disseminates knowledge with a quality and at a scale second to none. More than 105,000 students study at Purdue across modalities and locations, including nearly 50,000 in person on the West Lafayette campus. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue’s main campus has frozen tuition 13 years in a row. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap — including its first comprehensive urban campus in Indianapolis, the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, Purdue Computes and the One Health initiative — at https://www.purdue.edu/president/strategic-initiatives.

Writer/Media contact: Wes Mills, wemills@purdue.edu

Sources: Mung Chiang, Karen Plaut, Alina Alexeenko

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-24 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at purduenews@purdue.edu.