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Intellectual Property Gifts to Iowa State University
from Cargill, Incorporated

Cargill, Incorporated, has made two major gifts of intellectual property -- an enterprise software system and crop forecasting system -- to Iowa State University that will:
  • enhance student learning
  • advance Iowa State's research capabilities
  • position Iowa State as a leader in the application and impact of technology in manufacturing engineering and agriculture.
Gift value: The fair market value of the two gifts was appraised in 2002 by independent appraisers at a combined total of more than $16 million. Cargill also provided nearly $100,000 in funding assistance to help the university with start-up costs and filed patent applications on each of the software systems to insure the longevity of the technology for Iowa State.

Crop Inventory, Forecasting and Analysis System (CIFA)
CIFA merges crop models with real-world data from satellites and weather stations to produce crop forecasts for very precise locations, from extensive areas to single fields. When the system potential is fully realized, Iowa State will be the only university in the world with this level of capability in projecting and analyzing crop yields.

CIFA will enhance Iowa State's nationally respected crop modeling research programs by:
  • enabling scientists and students to assess field and crop health, produce accurate acreage estimates and yield forecasts, and analyze fertilizer programs
  • accelerating computer analysis time from many months to less than a day in many cases
  • opening doors for research in precision agriculture, global climate change, the environment, risk management and biosecurity.
SUMMARY: CIFA will increase Iowa State's capabilities to address important questions in agriculture, which will help farmers fine-tune their operations for optimum efficiency, production and profitability.

Manufacturing Execution System (MES)
One of the most important new technologies in manufacturing, this enterprise software will put cutting-edge tools to address real-world engineering problems directly in the hands of Iowa State's undergraduate and graduate students and faculty.

It will allow students and faculty to use information gathered across a manufacturing operation -- from shop floor to executive office -- to analyze and enhance all aspects of a manufacturing operation, from workflow to equipment maintenance to personnel.

SUMMARY: MES will greatly accelerate efforts by the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department in the College of Engineering to offer students an innovative hands-on curriculum. Nearly every IMSE student will use it several times during his or her academic career and will be better prepared for a productive, professional career because of it.


Iowa State University
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Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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