Jun 13, 2022

Global Economic Summit Brings the World to Indiana

India’s ambassador to the United States, the United Kingdom’s Minister for International Trade, and the former Chief Executive Officer of Google were among 800 guests and 30 international delegations who attended Indiana’s inaugural Global Economic Summit, a bold effort to strengthen ties between Indiana and the world in cutting edge industries like clean energy, microelectronics, and electric-vehicle technology.






Individual states rarely, if ever, host their own global economic summits, but setting Indiana apart is a goal of Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and Secretary of Commerce Bradley B. Chambers, who opened the four-day Summit on May 26 at the Indiana Convention Center.

The overarching goal of the Summit, Secretary Chambers said, was to build relationships.

"The Summit was designed to bring us all together—to elevate critical conversations, and most importantly, to cultivate meaningful, action-oriented partnerships that will result in tangible progress in the months and years ahead."

Indiana rolled into the Summit with record-breaking economic development momentum.

Earlier in the week, global automotive giant Stellantis announced plans for a joint venture with Samsung SDI to produce electric vehicle batteries in Kokomo. Stellantis is investing $2.5 billion in the venture, which is expected to create 1,400 jobs. Stellantis said the investment could ultimately grow to $3.1 billion.

A day after the Stellantis announcement, Eli Lilly and Co. said it would build two manufacturing plants in Boone County, a $2.1 billion investment that is expected to create up to 500 jobs. Lilly becomes the first company to land in the massive LEAP Lebanon Innovation and Research District.

Those projects are two of the largest in state history and, along with others previously announced this year, bring planned capital investments initiated in 2022 to almost $15 billion. That’s nearly double the total announced for all of last year, which set a state record for investment commitments.

Another economic development deal was revealed at the Summit itself when Zak Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Woking, England-based McLaren Racing, announced that his company will spend more than $25 million to build a 97,000-square-foot IndyCar team office, workshop, and training center in Whitestown, creating up to 175 jobs by the end of 2025.

Other initiatives announced at the Summit will set the stage for future investment in Indiana, including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Indiana and the United Kingdom that is meant to facilitate trade and economic development opportunities.

The MOU, the UK’s first such agreement with an American state, focuses on improving low-emissions technologies, growing research ties and removing barriers to trade and investment. Governor Holcomb identified the aviation and aerospace sectors, life sciences and advanced manufacturing as likely beneficiaries of the agreement. It also focuses on agriculture, car manufacturing and energy.

“The state of Indiana has already demonstrated it’s very forward leaning in a number of areas, which makes it a great partner for the United Kingdom,” said UK Minister for international Trade Ranil Jayawardena.

Indiana Economic Development Corp. officials also chose the Summit for the public launch of the state’s new Accelerating Microelectronics Production & Development (AMPD) task force, whose mission is to make Indiana a national leader in semiconductor research and manufacturing. Read more about the initiative here.

The Global Economic Summit was an opportunity for Hoosiers and global guests to discuss issues that are driving economic growth around the world and here in Indiana.

Attendees heard discussion on a wide range of topics, including artificial intelligence, the future of mobility, digital health, life sciences, green manufacturing, doing business with China, the intersection of technology and food security, and the geopolitics of sports. Other session topics included diversity, equity & inclusion; educating tech talent; and the future of energy.

The Summit concluded with some high-octane fun you can only find in Indiana. After B2B matchmaking brunches on Saturday, which concluded the official business portion of the Summit, visitors were treated to the greatest weekend in motorsports–the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade and the largest single-day sporting event in the world, the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Watching Sweden’s Marcus Ericsson become a first-time winner of the race was a fitting send-off for the Summit’s visitors from around the globe, who went home with a giant dose of Hoosier Hospitality and a first-hand look at how technology and determination can win the day. 

This article was featured in the June 2022 edition of IEDC’s newsletter. Subscribe today.