For immediate release:
May 20, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS - Acting on a request from State Rep. Terri J. Austin (D-Anderson), Indiana lawmakers are set to spend part of this interim examining ways the state can assist and partner in the continued growth and success of Indiana’s medical device industry, which employs more than 20,000 Hoosiers and generates more than $10 billion in revenue annually.
Legislative leaders have asked the Interim Study Committee on Commerce and Economic Development to consider expanding the partnership between state government and more than 300 companies across Indiana that specialize in the innovation and manufacturing of medical devices. Austin and State Rep. Kathy Heuer (R-Columbia City) requested the study in a resolution passed by the General Assembly during its 2014 session.
“As we explore ways to expand and diversify Indiana’s economy, it is imperative that we continue to pursue continued development of one of the state’s critical economic drivers: medical device manufacturing and life sciences, in general,” Austin said.
Recent listings showed that medical device companies make up more than half of the top 50 employers in the field of life sciences in our state. Indiana consistently ranks among the leading medical device hubs in the country.
“Indiana’s medical device companies contribute to the physical health of citizens around the world, as well as the economic health of our state,” Austin said. “Even though Indiana is a national leader in medical device manufacturing, I believe it is prudent for us to review the impact of our state’s laws and regulations on the industry’s continued innovation and growth. That is where this study committee will play a key role.”
Austin said the committee’s areas of study would be tax assistance in such areas as research and development, examining how to increase venture capital investment, and looking into training of employees at all levels, including the use of internships, cooperative education programs, and focused vocational education.
“Many issues affecting the medical device industry involve government policies and programs, as we can see in the current debate in Congress over the medical device excise tax,” noted Peggy Welch, executive director of the Indiana Medical Device Manufacturers Council.
“Indiana has embraced medical device manufacturing, and those of us in this field look forward to working with this committee to examine state policies, laws, and regulations that can positively affect the continued growth and innovation of an industry that saves lives and produces quality jobs,” Welch added.
The committee is expected to begin its work in the weeks to come.