REGENTS UNIVERSITIES HELP IOWA'S ECONOMY
REGENTS UNIVERSITIES HELP IOWA ECONOMY WITH HIGH-TECH DISCOVERIES AND SERVICE TO BUSINESS
(DES MOINES, Iowa) – Iowa’s three Regents universities are a major economic engine in the state, churning out hundreds of high-tech discoveries each year and helping thousands of companies and entrepreneurs grow their businesses. The University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa presented a summary of their economic development and technology transfer activities to the Board of Regents at their regular meeting in Ames on November 8.
"The biggest economic impact of our three universities is providing world-class higher education to tens of thousands of Iowans," said Ruth Harkin, chair of the Regents Economic Development Committee. "But the universities also bring in more than $670 million in federal and industry research funding every year. That generates hundreds of new discoveries which the universities then work to commercialize with Iowa companies or even to start new companies," Harkin said.
Highlights of the reports for 2006 include:
- 220 new intellectual property disclosures
- 235 patent applications
- 80 new patents
- 402 total technology license and option agreements yielding income
- $24.33 million in royalty and fee income
- 40 companies involved in university technology commercialization projects funded by the Battelle legislation
- 37 companies involved in university technology commercialization projects funded by the Grow Iowa Values Fund
- 2,124 Iowans employed at 81 companies at Research Parks at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University
- 10,000 businesses and individuals in all 99 counties received technical services and training through the economic development and technology transfer programs conducted by all three universities
The universities’ efforts to commercialize laboratory discoveries involve a wide range of technology fields. For example:
- A group of University of Iowa researchers is developing new cell therapy techniques for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and is starting up a new company called RepGenix.
- A research collaboration between Iowa State University and a Johnston firm, Genetic Enterprises International, is designed to commercialize new lines of corn that produce what is known as digestion resistant starch that has much less impact on human weight gain. The starch will be targeted for products like tortillas in the fast-growing ethnic food market.
- The University of Northern Iowa Waste Reduction Center is collaborating with a Davenport firm, Marco, to commercialize laser-guided paint blasting technology, making this the only company in North America to offer this cutting-edge technology.