GCVAC to host IEDA Foreign Trade Team Tour

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber will host members of the Iowa Economic Development Authority International Trade Offices (IEDA) for a familiarization tour on Dec. 8.

The purpose of the IEDA Foreign Trade Team tour is to become acquainted with actively exporting manufacturers in the Cedar Valley region. IEDA International Foreign Offices including China, Japan, Germany, Mexico, and Taiwan, assist Iowa companies with global market research, trade missions and trade shows. The tours of the Cedar Valley will focus on IEDA’s efforts to enhance export competitiveness in the Asia Pacific markets, and to create more jobs in Iowa.

“More than 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the U.S., accounting for 70 percent of the world’s purchasing power,” Debi Durham, director of the IEDA, stated in a press release. “Exporting is important to Iowa’s economy because it results in new jobs right here in our state.”

The day will include a tour of the TechWorks campus in Waterloo with a demonstration of the 3D sandcast printer located in University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Center Additive Manufacturing Lab, and tours of United Equipment Accessories and CPM Roskamp.

The Alliance & Chamber will host an Asia Executive Briefing & Market Overview at the Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo from 3-4:30 p.m. Dec. 8. Companies already exporting to Asia are encouraged to attend for the latest market briefing.

For more information about the IEDA International Trade Office familiarization tour of the Cedar Valley, contact Lisa Skubal, Vice President of Economic Development, Alliance & Chamber, lskubal@cedarvalleyalliance.com. Register for the Asia Executive Briefing & Market Overview through the Alliance & Chamber website’s event calendar at www.cedarvalleyalliance.com.

Results are in: Strong Year for Iowa STEM

This year’s Iowa STEM Evaluation report found that Iowa students who participated in programs of the STEM Council last year outperformed their peers in mathematics and science across all grade levels on the Iowa Assessments (page 147 of the report).

Iowans have come to trust and depend on the independent assessment of Iowa STEM each year by the inter-university consortium of Iowa State University’s Research Institute for Studies in Education (RISE), University of Iowa’s Iowa Testing Program, and the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Social and Behavioral Research (CSBR), lead organization.

Their 2014-15 report details through 326 pages of charts, graphs and narrative with an in-depth analysis of gains and opportunities. Impacts range from students to parents and teachers to communities. For example, 9 out of 10 teachers who participate in the STEM Council’s Teacher Externships program label it as the best professional development they have ever had. As for students, those who took part in STEM Scale-Up programs scored an average of 6 percentage points higher in mathematics and science on the Iowa Assessments. Iowans answering a telephone survey overwhelmingly believe that advancements in STEM will give more opportunities to the next generation. On top of that, the study found 376 new business-education partnerships formed through Iowa STEM programs last year.

A variety of additional indicators are monitored each year to complete the STEM story for Iowa. For example, four-year college degrees are up considerably, more students are taking Advanced Placement STEM courses, more high school teachers are getting their initial license in STEM areas and ACT-tested graduates are increasingly interested in STEM across all demographic subgroups including males, females, African Americans and Hispanics.

Although there is plenty to celebrate in the annual review of Iowa STEM, there are a number of opportunities to improve as well. The report provides STEM Council leaders with valuable, trustworthy feedback for charting the course ahead. To peruse the entire product of Iowa’s STEM evaluation triad, seehttp://iowastem.gov/sites/default/files/2014-15_Iowa_STEM_Evaluation_Report.pdf and direct any questions to Dr. Erin Heiden, project coordinator at the UNI Center for Social and Behavioral Research at Erin.Heiden@uni.edu.

Rockwell Collins announces first customer for new global flight tracking service

Rockwell Collins this week announced that Aeromexico is the launch customer for its ARINC MultiLink service, following the successful completion of recent trials.

The service, announced earlier this year, offers a comprehensive and cost-effective global flight tracking solution.

“We fly a number of routes that are outside U.S. Aircraft Situational Display to Industry (ASDI) radar,” said Benjamín Hernández, director, Corporativo Desarrollo Tecnológico at Aeromexico, in a press release. “ARINC MultiLink brings together multiple data sources, allowing us to fine-tune the information we receive to reliably report the location of our fleet of aircraft globally.”

ARINC MultiLink is designed to support flexible position reporting frequency, enabling it to provide position reports at least every 15 minutes for flight operations in oceanic and other remote areas. Airlines can also receive notifications when an aircraft has unexpectedly stopped reporting positional data or when the aircraft has deviated from its expected path.

Record year for corn and soybeans


Iowa soybean and corn growers knew they had a good crop on their hands, reported the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. Now, it’s official: The soybean crop has set a record, and corn may not be far off a new standard. According to last week’s U.S. Department of Agriculture Crop Production Report, this year’s soybean crop will eclipse the previous record set in 2005 by nearly 25 million bushels. Soybean yields statewide are estimated at 56 bushels per acre, up 3 bushels from October. The report pegged U.S. soybean production at an all-time high of nearly 4 billion bushels. Also last week, the USDA said corn production is forecast at 13.7 billion bushels, up less than 1 percent from the October forecast, but down 4 percent from last year’s record production.

IEDA assists EFCO, Men’s Style Lab

IEDA assists EFCO, Men’s Style Lab


The Iowa Economic Development Authority board on Friday approved nearly $12 million in aid to Iowa businesses Friday, including the expanding concrete form company EFCO Corp. and Men’s Style Lab Inc., both of Des Moines.

A few highlights:

  • EFCO plans a 154,000-square-foot facility and added production, an $11 million project that will get state tax benefits. The company will add 40 jobs and retain 88, with wages of at least $26.72 per hour.
  • Urbandale software company Fastpath plans to double its workforce in a $175,000 expansion. The project will create 12 jobs at $26.72 per hour. The state approved tax benefits.
  • Ames-based Parametric Studio, Inc., whose software caters to STEM-oriented educational games involving virtual aircraft flying, received a $100,000 royalty agreement to hire staff and refine and market the project.
  • Des Moines-based Men’s Style Lab, an online clothes styling and shopping subscription service, got a $300,000 loan.

Read More at http://www.BusinessRecord.com

#innovationIOWA Workiva, OutcomesMTM make Deloitte Fast500 list

Workiva, OutcomesMTM make Deloitte Fast500 list
Two Central Iowa companies, Ames-based software firm Workiva and West Des Moines biotech company OutcomesMTM, were ranked on the Deloitte Fast500 list of North America’s 500 fastest-growing companies in technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy technology. Workiva, which sells a cloud-based productivity platform, ranked 129th. OutcomesMTM, which provides medical therapy management programs, ranked 363rd. Workiva reported revenue growth of more than 658 percent from 2011 to 2014, the period Deloitte measured.

#innovationIOWA Merck to buy Ames-based Harrisvaccines

Merck to buy Ames-based Harrisvaccines
Merck & Co. Inc.’s animal health unit will buy Ames-based privately held Harrisvaccines Inc. to expand its portfolio of animal vaccines as the U.S. livestock industry seeks new defenses against diseases, Reuters reported. The companies did not report the terms of the sale, which is expected to close by the end of the year. Harrisvaccines gained fame for developing a vaccine to fight porcine epidemic diarrhea virus. In October, the firm signed a contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to supply avian influenza vaccine for poultry. The USDA is preparing for another potential outbreak of the virus later this year.

#innovationIOWA ISU students win national cybersecurity competition

Internet Security SystemIowa State University students won a cybersecurity competition and $25,000 for their work on solving a hypothetical security breach. The students were asked to figure out, in five hours, if a series of attacks were related, whose account was used to access the server and if anyone opened a malicious email. The ISU team faced off against teams from eight other universities in the National Cyber Analyst Challenge, a new competition sponsored by Lockheed Martin and Temple University’s Institute for Business and Information Technology. Read more

#innovationIOWA Iowa high tech conservation curriculum for ag students

Iowa high tech conservation curriculum for ag students

High school sophomores and juniors in Iowa may well have high tech conservation tools in their hands before their parents get the chance to use them on the farm. The online computer tools are part of a new conservation curriculum being offered to all ag education teachers in Iowa.

“Until now, students have been using data that wasn’t really specific, and estimating soil loss with formulas by hand,” said Tom Paulsen, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Education and Studies at Iowa State University.  “We didn’t have a high quality curriculum that used cutting edge science for precision conservation. But we do now; the teachers who have looked at this are excited.”

Read more from AG Professional at: http://www.agprofessional.com/news/iowa-high-tech-conservation-curriculum-ag-students