The state needs to establish an Iowa Bioscience Development Center as one piece of a four-part strategy for advancing its growth in the biosciences sector, according to a new consultants’ report released Tuesday by Gov. Kim Reynolds. 

Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg unveiled the economic development road map for Iowa’s bioscience industry during a news conference with representatives from the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Iowa Innovation Council. 

Iowa has 36 percent more employment in the industry sector than the national average; the in-depth analysis by TEConomy Partners LLC outlined four strategies to capitalize on the state’s strengths in the biosciences industry. The report builds on a baseline report conducted in 2004 and a progress report completed in 2011. 

The four strategies are: 

1. Establish a public/private Iowa Bioscience Development Center. 
2. Increase capital available for investment in Iowa bioscience companies.
3. Ensure continued legislative support for existing innovation ecosystem development programs. 
4. Improve connectivity and collaboration opportunities between key stakeholders in each of the focused bioscience development platforms.

“This analysis of Iowa’s bioscience industry gives us a foundation on which to base our strategy development and course for implementation,” said Doane Chilcoat, chair of the IIC and director of Applied Science and Technology at DuPont Pioneer. “Innovation is a necessary part of economic development. The future of Iowa’s economy depends on our commitment to capitalize on this opportunity.”

Over the past year and a half, TEConomy researchers examined Iowa’s current position in comparison with the rest of the nation. The report, titled “Iowa Bioscience Development: Core Competency Analysis, Platform Identification and Crosscutting Strategies,” also identifies four platforms as the future of Iowa’s bioscience development: medical devices, bio-based chemicals, precision and digital agriculture, and vaccines and immunotherapeutics.

Wendy Wintersteen, president of Iowa State University, said the report confirms the importance of ISU’s position at the leading edge of advancements in the biosciences. 

“The recommendations directly align with many of Iowa State’s specific strengths as well as the Cultivation Corridor’s objective to establish Iowa as a global center for excellence in this sector,” she said in a release. “We look forward to how we can leverage our expertise and innovation along with state investment to create valuable economic opportunities for Iowans.”