BOARD ACTION: Board Approves Projects From Five Established and Seven Startup Companies in Iowa

July 17, 2020

For more information contact:  

Kanan Kappelman, Iowa Economic Development Authority
Phone: 515.348.6248

IEDA Board Approves Projects from Five Established and Seven Startup Companies in Iowa

July 17, 2020 (DES MOINES, IA) – Today, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board approved awards for five legacy companies, which will assist in the creation of 730 jobs and result in over $182 million in new capital investment for the state. These projects are located in Cedar Rapids, Charles City, Oelwein and West Des Moines. The board also approved innovation funding in support of seven startups located in Ames, Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Garnavillo, Slater, St. Charles and West Des Moines.

BAE Systems to make acquisition and construct new facility in Cedar Rapids
The Electronic Systems sector of BAE Systems, Inc. is a global leader in researching, developing, implementing and maintaining cutting-edge commercial and defense electronics. The company is one of the world’s largest aerospace and defense technology companies. The Electronic Systems sector is in the process of acquiring the Military Global Positioning System business of Collins Aerospace in Cedar Rapids, and the project includes the construction of a new 200,000 square foot aerospace Research & Development and manufacturing facility. The board awarded the project tax benefits through the High Quality Jobs (HQJ) program. The project is a $115 million capital investment and is expected to create 650 jobs, of which 628 are incented at a qualifying wage of $22.27 per hour.

JRS Pharma LP to construct new facility in Cedar Rapids
A worldwide leader in the pharmaceutical excipient industry, JRS Pharma supplies a wide range of inactive ingredients, including binders, super disintegrants, thickeners and stabilizers. JRS Pharma operates facilities in Germany, US, Finland, India and China. The ingredients are sold primarily to pharmaceutical companies with some sales to the food division for food applications. The project would construct a new 20,000 square foot facility in Cedar Rapids. The board awarded this $14.9 million capital investment project tax benefits through the HQJ program. It is expected to create 18 jobs, incenting 16 at a qualifying wage of $22.27 per hour.

Cambrex Charles City to expand in Charles City
A subsidiary of Cambrex Corporation of East Rutherford, NJ, Cambrex Charles City, Inc. manufactures Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and pharmaceutical intermediates for both the generic and branded human pharmaceutical markets. The company supplies APIs for the treatment of ADHD, smoking cessation, oncology, Crohn’s disease and others. The project involves expanding its manufacturing capacity in Charles City and representing a $48 million capital investment. It is expected to create 32 incented jobs at a qualifying wage of $17.81 per hour. The board awarded the project $250,000 in direct financial assistance, as well as tax benefits through the HQJ program.

ICE Manufacturing to expand in Oelwein
ICE Manufacturing is an original equipment manufacturer for the Heavy Haul Semi Trailer market. Working with customers in the commercial, construction, ag, energy and military markets, the company is positioning itself as a designer and manufacturer offering customized transportation solutions to fill a growing need to transport heavy, large and delicate payloads. The project will expand its existing facility in Oelwein, purchase equipment and make upgrades. The board awarded the project $250,000 in direct financial assistance as well as tax benefits through the HQJ program, and it is expected to create 33 incented jobs at a qualifying wage $16.35 per hour.

Claim DOC to purchase West Des Moines facility
Claim DOC, LLC services self-funded health benefit plans for employers located throughout the county. It serves plans by providing medical claim audit and review services, along with customer service to the plans’ beneficiaries. The company will purchase an existing facility in West Des Moines and renovate it into office space that will house existing employees and allow for an increase in workforce. The project represents a $4.5 million capital investment and will create 54 jobs, of which 21 are incented at a qualifying wage of $26.67. The board awarded the project tax benefits through the HQJ program.

Awards made to seven startups

Incubated out of the Iowa State University Startup Factory in Ames, 3D Health Solutions, Inc. (3DHS), seeks to improve preclinical screening methods of therapeutic drugs for Pharmaceutical Research and Development. The transformational technology is based on the development of “miniature 3D organs,” called organoids, for preclinical evaluation of drug oral absorption. Organoids represent intestinal physiology much more closely than currently available methods and provide a superior drug screening assay for evaluating absorption of orally administered drugs. With the technology, 3DHS will aid pharmaceutical customers in developing new drugs in a more timely and cost-effective manner, thus decreasing overall healthcare costs for patients. The company was awarded a $25,000 Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) loan for proof of concept work and key personnel.

Headquartered in Cedar Rapids, STRATAFOLIO is a cloud-based software application that provides asset and property management analytics for people who own and manage commercial real estate and need a tool to streamline their operations. Portfolios typically manage their business manually in tedious spreadsheets that provide incomplete views into their operations. STRATAFOLIO’s financial, asset, operation, and investor management applications allow clients to eliminate, on average, 80% of wasted time and effort, as well as provide crucial analytics to help with strategic planning and improve ROI. The company was awarded a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan for product refinement, market planning/entry, and key personnel.

Coralville-based Higher Learning Technologies (HLT) creates professional healthcare educational solutions. Using one core technology platform, HLT creates video, audio and text materials through in-house efforts, contractors and external partnerships that work across all PCs and mobile devices. The platform will solve the problem of outdated and ineffective healthcare educational technology by containing test prep, continuing education and lifelong learning inside one app. The company was awarded a $400,000 Innovation Acceleration Expansion fund loan for product refinement.

Aeroseeder builds drone seeders to carry out cover crop seeding. In Garnavillo, the company created the small seeding aircraft to maximize efficiency. The drones can be applied where land-based equipment cannot be used or where manned aircrafts are not economical. The company was awarded a $25,000 POCR loan for product refinement, equipment and key personnel.

An Iowa State University spinoff headquartered in Slater, Gross-Wen Technologies has a patented algae system known as the revolving algal biofilm treatment system marketed under the RABTM brand. The technology enables the effective and sustainable use of algae to remove nitrogen and phosphorous from wastewater. It can also be used with clean water to grow high value algae (“clean algae”) for various uses to include nutraceuticals, human food and animal feeds. The company was awarded a $250,000 Innovation Acceleration Propel fund for product refinement and key personnel.

Armorloy, based in St. Charles, applies advanced ceramic alloy armor to products for everyday use. Armorloy reengineers everyday products utilizing a revolutionary new form of advanced ceramic technology to make longer lasting, more durable products. For example, their first product was a sportsman knife that replaced a traditional edge with the ceramic material that does not dull, require regular replacement or sharpening like traditional products. The company was awarded a $25,000 POCR loan for market planning/entry and key personnel.

VEMTOWA, doing business as SuperBio, is a national product development company based in West Des Moines that manufactures, markets and sells SuperBio Probiotic. Utilizing high quality research and scientific expertise, SuperBio plans to work on treating lung injury with Bilva, an ayurvedic treatment with potential respiratory benefits, by producing a pharmaceutical product that can work alone or in combination with other treatment strategies. The company was awarded a $25,000 POCR loan for IP development and evaluation, proof of concept work and equipment.

Award recommendations for these funds are made by the Technology Commercialization Committee to the IEDA Board for approval.

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