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Stanley R. Johnson, Vice Provost for Extension, (515) 294-6192
Steve Sullivan, News Service, (515) 294-3720


AMES, Iowa -- Iowa is among the first states to formalize its partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) State Industries of the Future program (IOF), which addresses industrial manufacturing competitiveness and energy conservation concerns.

On Thursday, April 19, Gov. Tom Vilsack will sign a memorandum of understanding with Denise Swink, DOE deputy assistant secretary representing the Office of Industrial Technologies IOF program. The State IOF program, which was established in Iowa last fall, is administered by Iowa State University and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Vilsack will sign the memorandum in his office at 1:35 p.m. Several other DOE officials, representatives from local industry and Iowa State will be at the signing.

The national IOF program was initiated to boost the competitiveness and energy efficiency of energy intensive manufacturing industries. The IOF process focuses on lowering raw material and energy use per unit output, improving labor and capital productivity, and reducing wastes and pollutants. National teams of private and public sector leaders were brought together to outline a vision and create a technology "roadmap" to achieve improvements in nine of the most energy and waste-intensive industries -- agriculture, aluminum, chemicals, forest products, glass, mining, metalcasting, petroleum refining, and steel.

The federal effort has been extended to include state-level programs. The Iowa IOF program will initially focus on the metalcasting and agriculture industries. Officials with the program will work with Iowa industry leaders to identify issues related energy usage and productivity and create a long-term vision and strategy to address those issues. The program also could initiate joint private sector public sector research and extension projects.

The DOE's Ames Laboratory is on the Iowa State campus. A benefit of the IOF program will be the more direct involvement of the Ames Lab in research to support key Iowa industries, said Stan Johnson, vice provost for extension. Extension will be the mechanism to deliver the products and services form the research programs, he said.

"In Iowa, extension's ability to connect with local firms and citizens is being used as a model for other states in the Industries of the Future program," said Johnson.


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