April 18, 2003
Carver co-lab to include business incubator
by Teddi Barron
A campus facility opening in the fall is designed to help Iowa State faculty
take the leap from scientific investigation to business creation.
The Roy J. Carver Co-Laboratory Business Incubator will provide interested
faculty with an on-campus research environment to develop a start-up
company. The incubator will nurture potential new businesses associated with
the Plant Sciences Institute.
"The incubator is an exciting new concept for Iowa State," said Stephen
Howell, director of the Plant Sciences Institute. "It will be a business
pipe-line that can help get faculty started."
Phytodyne Inc. is the type of company that might have developed in the
Carver business incubator, Howell said. Established in 2000 by zoology and
genetics professor Dan Voytas and alumnus David Wright, Phytodyne builds on
their discovery of plant retroviruses. The biotechnology company, located in
the ISU Research Park, develops and commercializes proprietary technologies
for plant genome modification.
Unlike the research park, the Carver business incubator will be a
transitional environment -- an incubation space for research activities that
aren't formally defined as businesses, Howell explained.
The incubator space will accommodate between seven and 14 researchers at any
given time. There will be six incubator modules in the building (one large
module for up to four scientists, and five small incubators for one or two
scientists, each). Incubation periods will be indefinite, subject to review
and negotiation, Howell said.
The facility will provide researchers with office and lab space, computer
and telecommunications services, access to common research equipment and
meeting rooms, and receptionist support.
Campus units involved are:
"The business incubator will be part of the Plant Sciences Institute's
activities to help fuel the development of the next generation of life
science industries in Iowa," Howell said. "It's the centerpiece for the
institute's efforts in strengthening Iowa's economy."
- The Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship, which assists in
developing business plans, conducting market research and finding financing
- The Center for Advanced Technology Development, which assists with
commercializing new technologies, as well as with product development
engineering and process improvement challenges.
- The Iowa State University Research Foundation and the Office of
Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer, which licenses and secures
rights to intellectual property owned by Iowa State.
- The colleges of Business, Agriculture, Engineering and Liberal Arts and
Sciences, which offer programs that support business development.
The 1600-square-foot incubator will be part of the $13 million Roy J. Carver
Co-Laboratory building, which is nearing completion in the northwest corner
of campus. The building also will be home to the Plant Sciences Institute,
the Pioneer Hi-Bred Genomics Laboratory, a proteomics facility, indoor plant
growth facilities and some of Iowa State's leading laboratories for research
in genomics, plant molecular biology and high-tech instrumentation
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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