WASHINGTON The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) and Governor Terry Branstad today hosted a press conference to recognize the Iowa Innovation Council I6 Green Project for being one of six winners of i6 Green, a federal, multi-agency competition to drive technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in support of a green innovation economy and increased U.S. competitiveness. Governor Branstad also announced the formation of the Iowa Innovation Corporation to help grow an innovation economy in Iowa.
"The $1 million i6 Green award to the Iowa Innovation Council I6 Green Project is an investment that will help spur the creation of new technologies in one of the fastest growing sectors of the global economy, and that, ultimately, will lead to jobs for Iowans," U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson said. "I also want to offer my congratulations to Governor Branstad on the formation of the Iowa Innovation Corporation."
Based in Ames, the Iowa Innovation Network i6 Green Project recently received $1 million from EDA to expand their Proof of Concept development model by adding a next stage Proof of Commercial Relevance Center. The project seeks to improve connections between Iowa businesses, entrepreneurs and universities to expand the pool of relevant green technologies, facilitate company creation and expansion, accelerate technology transfer and the commercialization of research and create sustainable, high paying, private-sector jobs.
"This award is a recognition that Iowa's economic development efforts are on the right path through our creation of the Iowa Innovation Corporation," said Governor Branstad. "Job creation is our top priority, and it is through efforts like this that we will continue to expand Iowa's economic opportunities."
"The objective of the i6 Green Award is to create a more robust pipeline of new ventures in Iowa that can potentially grow into significant future employers," said Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds. "This project will demonstrate and validate both the technical and commercial viability of early discoveries emanating from the state's research institutions as well as from other sources of technology."
i6 Green focuses on promoting Proof of Concept Centers methodologies, which support all aspects of the entrepreneurship process, from assisting with technology feasibility and business plan development, to providing access to early-stage capital and mentors that can offer critical guidance to innovators. The six winning i6 Green projects support emerging technology-based businesses as they mature and demonstrate their market potential, making them more attractive to investors and helping entrepreneurs turn their ideas and innovations into businesses. The national initiative leverages funding and technical assistance from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, and Commerce's EDA, National Institute of Standards and Technology and United States Patent and Trademark Office.
"It is a privilege to not only serve on the Iowa Innovation Council, but to be part of this joint effort with the Department of Commerce and the state to actually move forward with the very processes that will allow Iowa to achieve its goal of becoming a key producer of new and innovative technologies," said Sharron Quisenberry, VP of Research and Economic Development at Iowa State University.