Annette Hacker, director,
Office: (515) 294-4777
John Brighton, Vice Provost for Research and Economic Development, (515) 294-6344
Mike Krapfl, News Service, (515) 294-4917
Iowa State awards state economic development dollars to nine projects
AMES, Iowa -- State economic development dollars will help Iowa State University researchers find ways to enhance ethanol yield, fight obesity, improve swine vaccines, detect foodborne pathogens, improve soy biorefineries and develop other projects with commercial potential.
Iowa State has awarded $788,962 from the Grow Iowa Values Fund to nine research projects. The projects are the first winners of a grant contest designed to advance Iowa State's economic development efforts.
A committee judged the winning projects to have high potential to do one or more of the following:
"These funds are to support the development of Iowa State University innovations with commercial potential and to help more Iowa State technology reach the marketplace," said John Brighton, Iowa State's vice provost for research and economic development. "All of the projects have the potential to be a commercial benefit to Iowa. These grants will also help Iowa State advance a priority of its strategic plan that calls for the university to make an economic impact by translating discoveries into viable technologies, products and services."
State lawmakers agreed last spring to appropriate $5 million per year for 10 years to Iowa's three Regent universities. The money is to be matched by the universities and used to grow Iowa's economy. Iowa State's share is $1.925 million for each of the 10 years.
Iowa State is using some of that money to support short-term research projects and improve Iowa State offices that provide technology transfer services. Iowa State will use as much as $1.325 million per year during the 10-year appropriation to support grants for projects with high potential for commercialization. There will be two competitions for the grants every year. The next competition will be late this spring.
"This grant will be a big help in pushing forward with technologies we've been developing in our laboratories," said Victor Lin, an associate professor of chemistry and leader of a grant-winning research team from Iowa State's Center for Catalysis that's studying how new catalysts can lower the cost of producing biodiesel and can convert byproducts of biodiesel production into value-added chemicals. "At this stage, we're ready to transfer the laboratory-scale catalysts to the production line."
The grant will not only help researchers transfer their ideas from their labs, Lin said it is also helping students learn to apply chemistry.
"This helps our students to appreciate that what they're doing in the laboratory can be useful to the real world," he said.
The first round of Grow Iowa Values Fund grants went to these researchers and projects:
Iowa State awards $788,962 from the state's Grow Iowa Values Fund to nine research projects that have high potential to improve Iowa's economy.
"These funds are to support the development of Iowa State University innovations with commercial potential and to help more Iowa State technology reach the marketplace."
John Brighton, Iowa State's vice provost for research and economic development