Many key innovations in this state are coming out of our critical bioscience industry.
Consider the contributions of our biofuels industry throughout the state. We are leaders in this space. Iowa also leads in the food and ag and plant science areas. Add the contributions of vaccines through companies like Harrisvaccines or the cancer and Ebola cures offered by NewLink Genetics or the drug innovations of KemPharm make Iowa a human and animal health bioscience center.
All told, this is an industry that supports nearly 25,000 jobs in this state according to the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Because of Iowa’s rich agricultural resources, bioscience has grown at an exponential rate here.
In fact, the state’s most recent Battelle study released by the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress shows the bioscience industry has shown continued growth since 2004 despite recessionary pressures that forced contraction in other important industries for Iowa. It’s critical we support continued growth in this industry with engagement, strong public policy and investment.
In order to support the workforce needed for this industry to continue to grow, Iowa business leaders need to actively engage in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education in this state.