Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, along with representatives from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and Iowa Innovation Council (IIC), released an economic development roadmap for Iowa’s bioscience industry on Tuesday at the administration’s weekly news conference.
Bioscience makes a huge impact on Iowa’s economy. The state has 36% more employment in bioscience than the national average. IEDA and IIC hired TEConomy Partners, LLC to do an in-depth analysis on Iowa’s bioscience industry. This is the state’s third bioscience report and most extensive to date. It builds on a baseline report done in 2004 and a progress report done in 2011.
IIC is an advisory group made up of state business leaders. They work with representatives from Iowa’s community colleges, universities and government to advise IEDA on programs to support commercialization and entrepreneurship.
“Iowa is fortunate to have a strong bioscience industry,” Gov. Reynolds said. “These business leaders lend their expertise to ensure our state has a focused plan for success. We appreciate their leadership and understand the importance of this report to Iowa’s economic future.”
“By having industry undertake this research, we’re able to gain a unique perspective on our economic development efforts,” Lt. Gov. Gregg said. “This report is an important way to help our state develop a blueprint to achieve our goals.”
Over the past year and a half, TEConomy researchers examined Iowa’s current position in comparison with the rest of the nation. The report identifies four platforms as the future of Iowa’s bioscience development: medical devices; biobased chemicals; precision and digital agriculture; and vaccines and immunotherapeutics.
The report also recommends four strategies to capitalize on these competitive advantages: establishing a public-private Iowa Bioscience Development Center; increasing capital available for investment in bioscience companies; ensuring continued legislative support for existing innovation ecosystem development programs; and improving connectivity and collaboration opportunities between key stakeholders in each of the focused bioscience development platforms.
“This analysis of Iowa’s bioscience industry gives us a foundation on which to base our strategy development and course for implementation,” Doane Chilcoat, IIC chair and director of Applied Science and Technology at DuPont Pioneer, said. “Innovation is a necessary part of economic development. The future of Iowa’s economy depends on our commitment to capitalize on this opportunity.”
“Competing in a global economy depends on our ability to generate and support discoveries and developments that strengthen our competitive advantages and spur new business and innovation,” IEDA Director Debi Durham said. “This report provides us with a resource to develop our strategy.”
To download the executive summary and full report, click here.