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Iowa Prime Region for Bioeconomy
James Q. Lynch
February 15, 2006
[Note: This material is copyright
by The Gazette, and is reproduced here as a matter of "fair use"
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the prior approval of The Gazette.]
DES MOINES — Iowa can be the ‘‘epicenter’’ of the emerging bioeconomy,
but a leader of a Cedar Rapids bioindustry isn’t sure Iowans understand
the wealth of opportunity to be found in the state’s core strengths, such
as crop and animal production and food processing.
‘‘I know a
lot of the legislators get this and are very interested in where we’re
going,’’ said George Anderl, director of operations at Genencor International
and a member of the BioScience Alliance of Iowa, after meeting with the
House Economic Growth Committee Tuesday.
is advising Gov. Tom Vilsack and the Legislature how to implement recommendations
of the Battelle Memorial Institute that Iowa focus on opportunities in
seven areas of the biobased economy: drug discovery, genomics, biodefense/biosecurity,
advanced foods, animal systems, bioeconomy and imaging.
has a goal of developing 100 new bio-based businesses in Iowa in the next
the scientists with the ideas for those businesses already are in Iowa,’’
Chris Nelson, president of Kemin Industries of Des Moines and chairman
of the alliance, told the committee.
are unaware of that, however, Anderl said, and it will take time for them
to understand the potential to raise livestock that produces less manure,
that Iowa farmraised shrimp could be a byproduct of the ethanol industry
and steps to combat obesity may be as near as Iowa cornfields and regent
the bioeconomy has accounted for 5,400 new jobs and $3.4 billion in sales
in the past five years. It could potentially add 13,500 jobs in the next
five years and achieve sales of $51 billion by 2015.