Eli Lilly and Company Championing Innovation as a Means to Improve STEM Education
Eli Lilly and Company , an Indiana-based pharmaceutical company currently employing over 40,000 employees worldwide, has always been committed to promoting innovation in the pursuit of developing medicines that can cure the world’s most life-threatening diseases. Innovative ideas and practices have allowed scientists to produce medicines that extend the life expectancy of those living with cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Innovation is also a smart choice for Lilly’s bottom line – it has allowed the company to overcome medical, technological, and fiscal challenges that often prevent progress, and it has helped Lilly become one of the most successful pharmaceutical companies in the world.
Lilly recognizes that innovation can only come about in a society that values scientific inquiry and encourages its students to take on challenges in math and science. While the United States highly values scientific inquiry, our students fall far behind other nations in terms of scientific, technological, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) achievements. In fact, John Lechleiter, chairman and CEO of Eli Lilly and Company, estimates that in Indiana alone, 46,000 new STEM-related jobs will need to be filled in just the next five years*. To address this daunting task, Lilly has partnered with numerous public and private initiatives that focus on STEM teacher shortages, science and math mentorship programs, and improving curricular materials.
Additionally, Eli Lilly and Company is a sponsor of the 2010 Indiana Science Summit , which will convene on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010. This meeting will seek to formulate actionable reform to help Indiana’s children graduate with the scientific skills they need to succeed.
“Today, we stand on the brink of an enormous opportunity to harness new scientific knowledge that could make a further, substantial contribution to human health,” said Lechleiter during a speech delivered on September 22, 2009 at the Labs21 2009 Annual Conference. “We’re fortunate to live in a time and place where we can choose to devote substantial resources to such endeavors. We owe it to future generations in this country and to people around the world, to ensure that we create and sustain a viable ecosystem for innovation as a matter of highest priority.”
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*Lechleiter, John. The Human Face of Innovation. Labs21 2009 Annual Conference Keynote Speech. Indianapolis, IN. September 22, 2009