Iowa Board of Regents

Technology Transfer at Iowa's Public Universities

Iowa’s three public universities collaborate with business and industry and with each other to foster success for all economic development and entrepreneurship efforts in Iowa. At its November meeting, the Board of Regents will receive the annual economic development and technology transfer report outlining the scope of this collaboration and the positive impact the Regents institutions have on Iowa businesses. 

Iowa’s public universities have a positive impact on Iowa industry in numerous ways, including through direct assistance to startup companies and intellectual property discovery through research. In addition, the Regents institutions contribute to quality of life for Iowans and people around the world through groundbreaking research. For example, Iowa-based research and clinical trials in partnership with Pfizer and BioNTech helped lead to the highly-effective COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

Collectively, the universities attracted a record $1.45 billion in total sponsored funding to the state in 2021, an increase of $242 million from last year. More than half of this total ($790.3 million) came from university researchers winning competitive federal grants and awards. Students benefit from this inflow of funding by participating in cutting-edge research on our campuses, while Iowa businesses benefit through commercialization of the ensuing research and intellectual property.

Additionally, Iowa’s public universities assist Iowa business through on-campus research parks and incubators, which employed 4,460 people in 2021. Fifty-five new companies were founded in these research parks and incubators in 2021 alone, with 185 total companies located there. Often, these research parks and incubators provide opportunities for Iowans to build businesses around early-stage research ideas from the Regents institutions.

The Regents institutions significantly impact Iowa on a daily basis and demonstrate the value of research and business assistance directly to Iowa’s people, industry and communities. Our campuses are economic engines that provide support, development and breakthrough research that benefits communities in all 99 counties and beyond. 

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