An appropriations bill signed June 20 by Gov. Terry Branstad will help expand the Iowa State University Research Park and improve service to new and growing companies.
The bill includes $12 million to finance construction of a new building to house services and agencies that assist Iowa businesses. The research park is located south of the Iowa State campus, adjacent to Highway 30.
“Iowa State is grateful to the Iowa Legislature and Gov. Branstad for providing the resources to make this expansion possible. This is a significant investment for the park and for economic development in Iowa,” said President Steven Leath. “This action by our elected leaders demonstrates their confidence in the role and reputation of the ISU Research Park.”
Bringing together services, agencies
The new facility will house services and agencies that currently are scattered across the Iowa State campus. These include the Small Business Development Center, the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship, the Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer and the Iowa State University Research Foundation, among others.
“The research park is gratified by the support this investment represents. Iowa State University and the State of Iowa have been key partners in creating the success we have achieved to date. The support of President Leath, Gov. Branstad and the Iowa Legislature will accelerate our plans for growth of the park,” said Steven Carter, president of the research park.
Construction of the new building is expected to be completed within the next three years.
“This is tremendous news for Ames and Central Iowa,” said Dan Culhane, president and CEO of the Ames Chamber of Commerce. “The ISU Research Park has proven to be a vibrant economic engine that continues to provide significant return on investment.”
Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, said the research park and Iowa State are key partners in development of the Capital Corridor (Ames-Des Moines).“The research park is a tremendous economic development asset that spurs innovation and generates jobs for the region, and this new strategic state investment is a huge win for the research park and the corridor.”
Leath said as a result of the growth and innovation by companies in the research park, the park is approaching capacity, and expansion is necessary.
“I indicated last year that one of my priorities is to double the size of the research park,” Leath said,” and I’m confident this new facility will help achieve that goal.”
The research park includes companies of varying sizes, and provides critical support services to help the resident companies succeed. The 230-acre park currently has 57 tenants with 1,200 employees and annual payroll exceeding $60 million.