State Takes Next Step in Implementing Biosciences Development Road Map

November 5, 2018
State Takes Next Step in Implementing Biosciences Development Road Map

In July, the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s board approved plans to transition the existing Iowa Innovation Corporation (IICorp), the state’s public-private partnership for economic development, to serve as a new Iowa biosciences development center (IBDC).

Jim Register has been hired as president and CEO of the IICorp to lead the transition and implementation of IBDC efforts. Register, who comes to this role with over 25 years of experience in the agribusiness sector, was chosen by a search committee comprised of industry and state leaders.

Previously, IEDA and the Iowa Innovation Council – a business-led group that advises IEDA on the development and implementation of public policies that enhance innovation and entrepreneurship in targeted industries – commissioned a third-party analysis of Iowa’s bioscience industry by TEConomy Partners, LLC. The findings, released in December 2017, informed the biosciences development roadmap.

Establishing the IBDC satisfies one of four strategic goals outlined in the roadmap. The study also identified four platforms for industry and economic growth, which will be the focus of the IBDC: vaccines and immunotherapeutics, precision and digital agriculture, biobased chemicals and medical devices.

In this new role, Register will bring together partners from research institutions, global companies, entrepreneurs, investors and government to accelerate bioscience sector growth and development in Iowa. The objective of this effort is to drive commercialization of new ideas and technologies that will contribute to overall economic growth for this important sector in the state.

The biosciences are among the fastest growing fields in higher education – accounting for nearly 60 percent enrollment growth at Iowa State University (ISU) since 2005 and attracting about $1 billion in outside funding for our state’s research institutions annually. ISU and the University of Iowa have been integral to the process and supportive of the role they’ll play in moving the roadmap forward.

Find some fascinating facts about Iowa’s bioscience industry.