Innovators will share their stories at the statehouse next week

"Innovation for Iowa" is the theme for this year's ISU Day at the Capitol event at the statehouse Tuesday, Feb. 22.

The annual event, cancelled last year due to the pandemic, is an opportunity for the university to share with legislators its latest innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives, and to tell stories of how Iowa State is preparing workforce-ready graduates. ISU Day at the Capitol runs from 9:30 a.m. to noon in the building's rotunda.

President Wendy Wintersteen and nearly 50 faculty, staff and students and their Iowa-based partners plan to participate in the exhibits and engage with elected officials. A selection of "Innovation for Iowa" exhibits to be showcased includes:

Cyclones work. Fifty-eight percent of Iowa State graduates stay in Iowa to begin their careers. ISU's career services professionals provide effective practices, services, resources and events to prepare ISU students for a successful transition to the workforce of Iowa and beyond. Strong ongoing relationships between ISU and Iowa employers help make this possible.

First-of-its-kind rural broadband R&D. Iowa State is developing the Agriculture and Rural Communities Wireless Living Lab, the only such lab in the world, which promises to make Iowa a national model and growth center for rural broadband. The project will study infrastructure needed for smart, connected rural communities, and for providing affordable, high-capacity connectivity.

A new era for safeguarding animal health. A new home for ISU's world-class Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is under construction. A second phase of the project will bring all the lab's operations under one roof. The lab plays a major role in safeguarding animal health and public health -- and keeping Iowa's $32.5-billion-a-year animal agriculture industry competitive.

CYStarters: A catalyst for innovation culture. Students in the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship's CYStarters program have a mindset for entrepreneurial businesses. Student entrepreneurs will showcase their creativity in:

  • Super hero collectibles
  • Sharing the stories of meat produced on family farms
  • One-stop shopping for events and entertainment
  • Personalized planners
  • Musical instruments with lit-up flare

Award-winning Ames Lab partnership. Ames Laboratory's Critical Materials Institute is partnering with TdVib, an Iowa firm, to recover rare-earth metals from electronic waste on a commercial scale. The project, based on technology honored with a national R&D 100 Award in 2021, has provided the company an opportunity for growth and expansion.

Filtering the noise for businesses in every Iowa county. Over the past five years, the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) and its partners have helped more than 4,100 businesses in every Iowa county -- a multibillion-dollar impact. CIRAS showcases how ISU expertise helps "filter the noise" so companies can make better decisions, including navigating federal cybersecurity rules and increased understanding of a myriad 3D printing options.

Harnessing innovative tech to meet rural housing needs. ISU is helping redefine affordable, resilient housing for rural Iowa communities. The 3D Affordable Innovative Technologies Housing Project brings together cutting-edge innovations to deliver quality housing that meets the needs of Iowa communities and their workforce. ISU and Iowa Central Community College are partnering to develop educational programs on the project.

Toward a more cybersecure Iowa. ISU is leading cybersecurity education and workforce projects that will protect Iowa businesses and critical infrastructure. The Iowa Cyber Hub facilitates collaboration between education providers and companies to provide a cyber workforce. CySim will help organizations practice cyber defenses to prepare for future attacks. ReCIPE, a federally funded coalition, will help secure the energy sector.