The future of Warsaw, Indiana, the orthopedics capital of the world, received a significant boost September 23, with the single largest private foundation grant ever awarded in the region.

Grace President Dr. Ron Manahan discussed Orthoworx at the September 23 news conference.

Grace President Dr. Ron Manahan discussed Orthoworx at the September 23 news conference.

At a news conference September 23 in the Orthopaedic Capital Center on the Grace College campus, the Kosciusko County Community Foundation (KCCF) and BioCrossroads announced that a $7 million grant, provided by Lilly Endowment Inc. to KCCF, will support the establishment of OrthoWorx, a Warsaw-based, industry, community and education initiative to advance and support growth and innovation within the region’s uniquely concentrated, globally significant orthopedics device sector. The initiative will engage and enhance the broader community interests that both serve and depend upon the sector’s continued growth.

“Indiana is indeed fortunate to be home to this extraordinary cluster of orthopedic companies in the Warsaw community,” said N. Clay Robbins, president of the Endowment. “We are pleased that a promising plan and framework have been developed, after many months of deliberation and good effort, to secure and enhance the region’s competitive appeal to the orthopedic industry now and in the future.

“While many have contributed to the development of this plan, we are especially impressed by the leadership and dedication of the president of Grace College, Ron Manahan; the executive director of the Kosciusko County Community Foundation, Suzie Light; and the leaders of the orthopedic industry and BioCrossroads. Without their tireless efforts we would not be here today,” Robbins added. Both Light and Dr. Manahan serve on the OrthoWorx board of directors with other local industry leaders.

Speaking at the news conference, Grace President Ron Manahan said, “Today marks a great partnership of commitment to action over the next months and years. We have had studies before. We have a partnership for action, for change, for pursuit of the opportunities that are ahead. I thank everyone here for a committed partnership for action and achievement, for seizing this opportunity. This is our opportunity. It is up to us to achieve. We are in this together.”

The OrthoWorx initiative was created out of a comprehensive Endowment-funded study conducted by BioCrossroads, Indiana’s public-private collaboration for investment, development and advancement of the state’s signature life sciences strengths. Released Sept. 10, the report, “Warsaw, Indiana: The Orthopedics Capital of the World — An overview, analysis and blueprint for future industry and community growth”, explores the sector’s current assets and challenges and sets forth a series of action-oriented recommendations designed to secure and advance the community’s current position as home to nearly a third of the world’s orthopedic device industry. The report is available in PDF format at

Initially,  OrthoWorx will focus on (1) branding and awareness, (2) community enhancement, (3) education, (4) talent and workforce development, (5) transportation and logistics, and (6) technical support services.

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