Inside Iowa State

Inside Archives

Submit news

Send news for Inside to, or call (515) 294-7065. See publication dates, deadlines.

About Inside

Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Nov. 18, 2005

Economic development grant program ready to go

by Anne Krapfl

Grant proposals for research or development that helps get more ISU technology into the marketplace are due in colleges Dec. 1. Tenured and tenure-track faculty and P&S employees in positions P17 and above may apply. Funding decisions will be announced by Jan. 31, with funds available within two weeks of the announcement.

Funding for the grants comes from a Legislative appropriation for economic development ($5 million annually for 10 years) to Iowa's three regent universities. 2005-06 is the first of the 10 years. Iowa State's award this year is $1.9 million, of which $825,000 will be distributed in competitive grants. (Each university was allowed to develop its own plan to spend its share.)

Anticipate grant range: $25,000 to $200,000

Grants are expected to range from $25,000 to $200,000, according to Charlotte Bronson, associate vice provost for research. About half the funds will be awarded in this application cycle, the rest during a spring application process.

"The size of the grants will vary, depending on need," she said. "We want to be flexible and do what's best for Iowa."

Following a ranking of proposals at the college level, proposals will be evaluated centrally by a review committee, which will make recommendations to Provost Ben Allen and President Gregory Geoffroy. Proposals will be evaluated for their potential to grow the Iowa economy, specifically the:

  • Magnitude of the economic impact, measured by jobs created (or retained), investment made in Iowa or other economic activity
  • Probability of technical success
  • Probability of commercial success
  • Potential to lead to future funding from non-ISU sources
  • Potential to strengthen ISU's research capabilities
  • Potential to improve learning opportunities for ISU students

Help is available

Bronson said the grants aren't only for people who already have industry connections. "We want good ideas to come forward. We can help investigators determine their commerical potential and the best strategy for commercialization," she said.

The RFP includes contact information for 11 Iowa State staff members who specialize in commercializing technology and serve as ISU liaisons to industry. Bronson said they would help would-be grant proposal writers decide the appropriateness or viability of an idea and advise them on crafting a proposal. The same group will help manage projects that receive funding.

"We encourage people to apply and we encourage them to use one of those resource people," Bronson said.

Grants at a glance

Amount: Expected range is $25,000-$200,000

Eligibility: Open to tenured or tenure-track faculty, P&S employees P17 and above

Research focus: Any of a range of stages in the development of technology with a clear commercial benefit or potential for Iowa

Match: 100 percent match required (per the legislation). Examples: university general fund (including salaries), industry funds, private gifts, indirect cost distribution funds, third-party in-kind support (such as time or equipment), funds generated by the Pappajohn Center or the ISU Research Park. (However, other state appropriations specifically for economic development programs at ISU can't be used for matches.)

Check back: Application and review procedures for future RFPs may get revised to optimize the process over the life of the program.

More info: Grow Iowa RFP (PDF file).


Iowa State will award $825,000 in grants this year for research that helps commercialize more ISU technology.