#innovationIOWA New STEAM Academy launched in Cedar Rapids Community School District

CEDAR RAPIDS — Metro High School students now have a different way of learning in the new STEAM Academy. The Cedar Rapids Community School District cut the ribbon on the new academy on Thursday.

STEAM emphasizes Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. The school redesigned some of its traditional classrooms into lab spaces to encourage student innovation. The classrooms also have a focus on technology, collaboration and flexibility.

“What we have designed is a space where kids will think of what things they may be passionate about, fit them with projects that meet that passion, and then figure out which standards they are meeting by going through these various projects,” said Metro High School Principal Dr. Carlos Grant.

Read more at: http://www.kcrg.com/subject/news/metro-high-school-celebrates-new-steam-academy-20151015

#innovationIOWA KemPharm Enhances U.S. and Global IP

CORALVILLE, Iowa, Oct. 13, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — KemPharm, Inc. (NASDAQ:KMPH), a clinical-stage specialty pharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of proprietary prodrugs, today announced several enhancements to KemPharm’s U.S. and global intellectual property estate governing its portfolio of prodrug product candidates.

For more information visit: http://investors.kempharm.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=253970&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2096412

#innovationIOWA DuPont Pioneer innovationLEADER of the Year Award 2015 winner gets Ebola contract

An ISU Research Park company is in the unique position to manufacture a vaccine for a deadly virus.

The Ebola virus was first recognized almost 40 years ago and came to the attention of the general public in spring 2014 when an epidemic struck West Africa. The hype has since died down amidst common conversation, but the virus lives on.

NewLink Genetics, a biopharmaceutical company in Ames, was awarded $18 million from the federal government at the beginning of October to scale-up the manufacturing process relating to the investigational Ebola vaccine candidate rVSV-ZEBOV, according to Dr. Charles Link, CEO and chief scientific officer at NewLink.

He defined NewLink as a commercial entity that does basic science work, with an ultimate goal of getting drugs approved for patients in need.

“[At NewLink] when you wake up in the morning, you know you’re going to be working on stuff that really matters for people,” Link said.

NewLink originally licensed the vaccine from the Public Health Agency of Canada in 2008. NewLink was already five years into research and development of the vaccine when the outbreak struck in 2014.

The 2014 outbreak caused the vaccine to go into clinical testing much more quickly, speeding up the process by six months, Link said. He added that if they hadn’t been working on the vaccine for five years prior to the outbreak in west Africa, the company wouldn’t be in the position it’s in now.

“I always felt that it was important for humanity to see this product,” Link said.

Read more at http://www.iowastatedaily.com/news/academics/article_dfdde7ee-738e-11e5-b0cf-5b94da530c00.html

#innovationIOWA Iowa Business Survey: STEM INVESTMENT

Dear Iowa Business Leader: This five-item survey will take you approximately two minutes to complete and by doing so you will contribute to an invaluable statewide snapshot of business investment in education, particularly regarding the high-demand fields known as STEM (science-technology-engineering-mathematics). Collective responses by you and your peers across Iowa will inform state leaders and lawmakers regarding private sector commitment to growing the talent pipeline to essential STEM careers.

Your responses must be submitted by Oct. 16 to be counted. To take the survey visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7LVDF65

#innovationIOWA Facebook opens community grant apps

Facebook Inc., which has a data center in Altoona, plans to award a series of community grants in February, continuing a program that contributed a combined $103,000 to 25 local nonprofit organizations earlier this year. The program focuses on community betterment, connecting people online or off, improving education and promoting local economic development. The areas involved are Altoona, Pleasant Hill, Mitchellville, Runnells, Bondurant and areas served by the Southeast Polk and Bondurant-Farrar school districts. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 11. Read more

#innovationIOWA Kirkwood’s agricultural science program named top in nation for degrees awarded

Kirkwood Community College’s Agricultural Science program is number one in the nation for associate degrees awarded by a two-year college, according to a new list by Community College Week. Kirkwood saw the number of degrees awarded in the program jump from 101 to 117 from 2013 to 2014, a 16 percent increase.
Agricultural Sciences Dean Scott Ermer credited the college’s knowledgeable faculty, close industry connections, and up-to-date training facilities and labs with the program’s success.
“Our students get a hands-on education where they develop one-on-one relationships with faculty, creating a learning environment geared towards student success,” Mr. Ermer said in a press release. “The result is that we are producing the future leaders of the agriculture industry. It’s really exciting.”
Kirkwood has 609 students enrolled in 14 ag-related programs of study this fall. The Agriculture Production, Agriculture Business, Parks and Natural Resources and Agriculture Geospatial programs have the highest number of students.
For more information on the Agricultural Science program at Kirkwood, go to www.kirkwood.edu/ag.

#innovationIOWA Celebrate Business & Economic Impact Award Winners Announced

Presented by the Partnership and the Business Record, the Celebrate Business and Economic Impact awards promote the development of the Greater Des Moines business community by publicly recognizing innovative and enduring business initiatives in our community.

The 2015 Economic Impact Award winners are:
American Enterprise Group, Delta Dental of Iowa, DuPont Pioneer, Merchants Bonding Company, Microsoft, Principal Financial Group, and Wells Fargo

The 2015 Celebrate Business Award winners are:

Community Champion:
Christensen Development & Nationwide
Best Kept Secret:
Businessolver & Community Housing Initiatives
Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
Best Workplace for YPs: 
Happy Medium
Life Long Learning:
INS Family of Companies

The awards lunch will be Wednesday, November 4 at the Sheraton West Des Moines. Click here to register.

#innovationIOWA Join the Iowa Startup Community for a Weekend

54 hours, five cities, countless ideas, one amazing Iowa community: Dreamers and doers, unite! Five cities across Iowa will host Startup Weekend – the very best way to launch an idea – Nov. 20-22. Whether you want to learn something new by diving in and trying, expand your network and make new friends, or really start a business, Startup Weekend is for you. Council Bluffs, Ames, Cedar Falls, Iowa City and the Quad Cities are all home to growing startup communities, and we’ll leverage all our connections to help you succeed. Because Iowa has always been a special place to grow ideas.

Visit http://www.swia.co for more information.

#innovationIOWA DOE SBIR and Clean Energy Event Nov 5

DOE SBIR and Clean Event  / November 5 in Des Moines

Iowa Energy Center and Iowa Innovation Corporation are jointly sponsoring a daylong workshop for anyone interested in clean energy and SBIR funding from the Department of Energy. Most of the day will be focused on the Solicitation for the DOE SBIR, which will come out on Nov. 2. National SBIR consultant Jim Greenwood will be the speaker. During the lunch hour, former Clean Energy Challenge winners  from Igor, ARTI and Amjet will present a panel discussion on next year’s Clean Energy Challenge. Watch for more details in coming communications.  Register for the event here.