Via Iowa State Daily

Thu, Jun 9, 2016

ISU's Research Park cut the ribbon on its brand new Economic Development Core Facility on Thursday afternoon, as state legislators, university administrators, faculty, staff and members of the public crammed into the foyer of the state-of-the-art facility. 

The new facility will be the home of the university's economic development enterprise, said Vice President for Economic Development and Business Engagement Mike Crum, and will greatly enhance the positive impact the university will have on the state's economy. 

The ISU Research Park was established in 1987 as a not-for-profit, independent corporation operating under a Board of Directors appointed by Iowa State University and the ISU Foundation, according to their website.

And it's been growing ever since. 

"[The Core Facility] is the first building to be completed in the Research Park's next major expansion phase," Crum said. "It's representative of the types of buildings you're going to see in the new expansion of the park."

University President Steven Leath has been adamant about expanding ISU's research profile ever since he stepped into office five years ago, which was highlighted by the heavy emphasis he placed on research and development in Iowa State's most recent strategic plan.

"This is part of a vision and a dream coming true," said Steven Leath, university president. "It's a great day for the entire university — it's really a great day for the State of Iowa and Iowa's economy, and that's what make us so excited." 

There are currently more than 1,700 employees working at the ISU Research Park, and officials say that number will more than double by the year 2025.

It really is about partnerships and collaborations," said Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. "[Leath] has been a key leader in that endeavor.

"So we're starting in a really great place, and we have a great story to tell. Watch out for what's ahead."

The Research Park's main goal is to provide resources and development opportunities to help advance science-based initiatives, according to their website, and had helped researchers develop a wide range of breakthroughs from flexible solar panels to vaccines for the zika and ebola viruses.