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

Aug. 10, 2006

Regents adopt bioeconomy policy statement for universities

by Anne Krapfl

A policy statement adopted by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, Aug. 8 urges the Iowa legislature and governor to provide operating funding to the three regent universities that enables them to recruit and retain the world-class researchers needed to make Iowa the world leader in an emerging bioeconomy.

The policy statement was presented by the board's economic development committee.

According to the statement, a statewide bioeconomy initiative offers lots of benefits to Iowa, including increased crop values, contributions to national security, a strengthened economy and a cleaner environment. The policy calls for more collaboration in research and development among the three universities; industry; and state, federal and local government.

President Gregory Geoffroy offered these comments on the policy statement:

"I want to applaud the board for taking this action. I think this is one of the greatest opportunities that Iowa has before it. This is an important area with a lot of interest, from the president of the United States down through major corporations that are expressing an interest in making huge investments in renewable fuels, renewable energy, and biobased products.

"Iowa is the best place in the world to grow plants and Iowa has created a huge industry around renewable fuels, including ethanol and biodiesel. The state of Iowa has the opportunity to truly be the world center for biorenewables, the bioeconomy. It requires much more, however, than just building ethanol plants. It requires an emphasis at the universities in research and education.

"At Iowa State, this is one of our highest priorities right now. We have put significant internal investment and have made this a priority in private fund raising with corporations and individuals. And there are some exciting opportunities that are ahead of us as well. I think this is a very, very important initiative and I thank the board for adopting this resolution."