Indiana Biosciences Research Institute picks chief scientific officer

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The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute on Tuesday announced the appointment of Rainer Fischer as its chief scientific and innovation officer.

IBRI is 3-year-old life sciences research institute that is aiming to build a thriving cluster of local life sciences businesses in Indianapolis. It is expected to be the anchor tenant of a proposed technology development called “16 Tech,” which is slated for a 60-acre tract of land just north of the Indiana University School of Medicine campus.

The development is expected to include a mix of research labs, corporate offices, business incubators, working spaces, apartment, retail business and parks.

Fischer most recently served as senior executive director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology in Germany. The institute is part of the largest applied science research organization in Europe.

While leading the Fraunhofer for 19 years, Fischer grew the institute from 40 to 680 employees, raised almost 1 billion euro in research funding, and established international collaborations with universities and companies in more than 25 countries.

The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute has been awarded grants of $80 million from the Lilly Endowment and $20 million from the Eli Lilly and Co. Foundation, helping it raise about half of its three-year fundraising goal of $350 million.

“I am extremely excited to be working alongside Rainer to build the IBRI into one of the leading research institutes in the world,” said IBRI CEO David Broecker in a written statement. “Rainer is an incredibly unique talent across a range of scientific disciplines and sources of innovation, and I am confident that he will attract others like him to the Institute.”

In addition to his academic and leadership experience, Fischer co-founded five biotechnology startups, holds 40 patents and has 64 patent applications pending.

Fischer will be a keynote speaker at the BioCrossroads 2016 Life Sciences Summit on Oct. 5.  

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