Leath: Partnerships key to solving food challenges

From the Iowa State University News Service

President Steven Leath

President Steven Leath joined other higher education leaders at the World Food Prize events to emphasize the role of public-private partnerships in addressing food insecurity.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa State University President Steven Leath told an international audience this week the key to significant research advancements in world food supply, food security and environmental stewardship is commitment to public-private partnerships.

Leath said a strong, unified effort involving public and private universities, public agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and private companies is necessary to address the daunting problems of hunger, nutrition and world food supply.

He and four other panelists representing public higher education spoke Oct. 14 as part of the week-longWorld Food Prize events. Appearing with Leath were Gebisa Ejeta, a 2009 World Food Prize Laureate from Purdue University; Louise Fresco, president and chairman of Wageningen University; Peter McPherson, president, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities; and Randy Woodson, chancellor, North Carolina State University.

“No one person, discipline, university or agency can alone address all of our major agricultural challenges,” Leath said, “We need to leverage each other’s talents and expertise.”

He cited as examples Iowa State’s role in the central Iowa Cultivation Corridor, a public-private partnership to spur discovery and growth in agricultural biosciences, biotechnology and related fields. He also cited partnerships within Iowa State, including an interdisciplinary research initiative he launched nearly five years ago.

Strong partnerships also are necessary to secure the level of federal research funding necessary to address major agricultural challenges. As he has noted in the past, Leath said medical research investment is $13 for every $1 devoted to agriculture.

Leath is a member of the World Food Prize Council of Advisors, and on Oct. 10 hosted the 2016 World Food Prize Laureates at the Iowa State Memorial Union.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Dr. Norman Borlaug establishing the World Food Prize. Borlaug received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. The World Food Prize is headquartered in Des Moines and headed by Ambassador Kenneth Quinn.

 

Apply Today: DuPont Pioneer innovationIOWA LEADER of the Year Award

Submit your application for the Business Record’s third annual DuPont Pioneer innovationIOWA LEADER of the Year award. Past recipients include Harrisvaccines, Inc. and NewLink Genetics. The award recognizes an individual or organization for their originality, leadership, and impact on their company, state and local economy, and/or the general public through innovative concepts, processes, and/or products. Submit your application by emailing JasonSwanson@bpcdm.com 

Judging is based on the following:

  1. Originality of the innovation(s):  Is this a completely new concept/idea/process or the re-imagining of an existing one? Was it developed independently or in cooperation with others?
  2. Impact of the innovation(s):  Did this innovation meet an unmet need? How has it affected a specific industry and/or the public at large? If internal, what impact has it had on the processes and efficiencies of your organization?
  3. Commercial impact of the innovation(s):  Has the innovation gone to market? What financial evidence or market acceptance information does the innovation have to support new value for the end user? What is the quantifiable evidence of success?
  4. Culture of innovation:  Does the individual or company promote an atmosphere conducive to innovation? Have they consistently been a leader in their field when it comes to innovation?

The winner will be announced at the fourth annual innovationIOWA Magazine Launch Party presented by Iowa State University Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations and the College of Business on April 5th, 2017 from 5:00 – 7:00pm at the Iowa State University Economic Development Core Facility, 1805 Collaboration Place, Ames. There is NO RSVP is required and no charge to attend. Light food and coolants are provided. Don’t miss this incredible networking event where statewide key stakeholders mix and mingle. We look forward to seeing you there! For more information email KatherineHarrington@bpcdm.com or call her cell at 515-689-4447. 

2017 innovationIOWA Magazine Sponsors:

Presenting: Iowa State University Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations and the College of Business

Co-Sponsors: Danfoss, Zarley Law

Chapter Sponsors: John Deere, Kemin, Eurofins, Alliant Energy, Kent Corporation

2016 Launch Party Leaders In Attendance Included:
Kirk Bjorland
Iowa Innovation Corporation

Matt Busick
River Glen Private Capital

Jay Byers
Greater Des Moines Partnership

Michael Crum
Iowa State University

Dan Culhane
Ames Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development

Debi Durham
Iowa Economic Development Authority

Katherine Harrington
Business Record

Joe Hrdlicka
Iowa Biotech Association

Craig Ibsen
NextLevel Ventures

Kathryn Kunert
MidAmerican Energy

Steven Leath
Iowa State University

Anthony Paustian
DMACC

Mark Petri
Iowa Energy Center

Bob Riley
Feed Energy

Paul Schickler
DuPont Pioneer

David Spalding
Iowa State University

Steve Sukup
Sukup Manufacturing

Brian Waller
Technology Association of Iowa

Jeff Weld
Governor’s STEM Advisory Council

Brent Willett
Cultivation Corridor

Tim Zarley
Zarley Law

Doug Hundt
Vermeer

Matt Rizai
Workiva

… and many more!

ISU StartUp Factory companies hit $2M milestone

From The Business Record Daily PM Oct 14, 2017
Credit – Haila Architecture
Just 16 weeks into its 52-week program, the inaugural class at the ISU StartUp Factory has collectively raised $2 million in private capital, twice the $1 million goal set by the program for its startups to raise by the end of the yearlong program.
ISU President Steven Leath made the announcement during a grand opening reception held Thursday at the new Vermeer Applied Technology Hub, which is located at the ISU Research Park in Ames.
Read the entire story at http://www.BusinessRecord.com

ISU receives $9.6 million to improve diversity in STEM academic programs

BY BUSINESS RECORD STAFF | @BusinessRecord

Iowa State University today announced it has received nearly $9.6 million in funding from the National Science Foundation to improve diversity in both the professional STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workforce and academia.

 

The largest award, $5 million, goes to the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation. Iowa State leads the Iowa-Illinois-Nebraska STEM Partnership for Innovation in Research and Education (IINSPIRE), an LSAMP alliance of 16 institutions focused on increasing the quality and quantity of students successfully completing undergraduate STEM programs and increasing the number of underrepresented students who pursue graduate degrees.

Read the entire story at http://www.BusinessRecord.com

SBDC state, regional offices move under one roof at ISU Research Park

From the Business Record Daily 6/30/16 http://www.BusinessRecord.com

America’s Small Business Development Center has moved its state office and ISU regional office to Iowa State University’s new Economic Development Core Facility at the ISU Research Park. The two offices are now at 1805 Collaboration Place, allowing for increased collaboration and effectiveness, the agency said in a release. “This move will allow us to pivot more quickly to the needs of entrepreneurs by increasing our access to partner resources,” said Lisa Shimkat, state director.   To read a Business Record article about the ISU Research Park expansion, click here.

ISU scientists develop nanomachines to diagnose illness

Eric Henderson

Eric Henderson – Professor of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology at Iowa State University

 

AMES, Iowa – Imagine you want to build an intricate work of architecture, like a castle.

Now imagine that, once all its individual components are brought together, the castle builds itself automatically. Finally, imagine this castle is so small that it’s measured on the same scale as DNA, viruses and small molecules.

You’ve just entered the nanoscale world where Eric Henderson lives. And if this sounds like magic to you, maybe you’re not far off the mark.

“It’s the magic of how DNA works,” said Henderson, a professor of genetics, development and cell biology at Iowa State University.

Henderson, along with his former graduate student Divita Mathur, studies how to build nanomachines that may have real-world medical applications someday soon. He and Mathur recently published an article in the peer-reviewed Scientific Reports describing his laboratory’s successful effort to design a nanomachine capable of detecting a mockup of the Ebola virus.

He said such a machine would prove valuable in the developing world, where access to diagnostic medical equipment can be rare. He said his nanotechnology could be fabricated cheaply and deployed easily. Used in conjunction with a smartphone app, nearly anyone could use the technology to detect Ebola or any number of other diseases and pathogens without the need for traditional medical facilities.

The trick lies in understanding the rules that govern how DNA works, Henderson said.

“It’s possible to exploit that rule set in a way that creates advantages for medicine and biotechnology,” he said.

The iconic double-helix structure of DNA means that one strand of DNA will bind only with a complementary side. Even better, those compatible strands find each other automatically, like a castle that builds itself. Henderson harnessed those same principles for his nanomachines. The components, once added to water and then heated and cooled, find each other and assemble correctly without any further effort from the individual deploying the machines.

And just how “nano” is a nanomachine? Henderson said about 40 billion individual machines fit in a single drop of water.

The machines act as a diagnostic tool that detects certain maladies at the genetic level. For the recently published paper, Henderson and Mathur, now a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., designed the machines to look for signs of Ebola, though the experiments in the study used a mock version of the viral genome and not the real thing. Henderson employed an embedded photonic system that tests for the presence of the target molecules. If the machines sniff out what they’re looking for, the photonic system flashes a light, which can be detected with a machine called a fluorometer.

Henderson said this sort of technology could be modified to find certain kinds of molecules or pathogens, allowing for virtually anyone, anywhere to run diagnostic tests without access to medical facilities.

He also envisions a time when similar nanoscale architectures could be used to deliver medication precisely where it needs to go at precisely the right time. These nanomachines, built from DNA, essentially would encapsulate the medication and guide it to its target.

Henderson said such advances aren’t that far beyond the reach of modern medicine. It just requires scientists in the field to think small. Really small, in this case.

From the Iowa State University News Service

You are invited: innovationIOWA Magazine Launch Party April 5th

Join the Business Record at the innovationIOWA MAGAZINE LAUNCH PARTY 2016: The Ultimate Gathering of Iowa Visionaires & Leaders of the New Economy

*Presented by: Iowa State University Economic Development and Industry Relations

*Learn who the DuPont Pioneer innovationLEADER of the Year Award Winner is!

When: April 5th, 2016
Where: Workiva 2900 University Blvd, Ames IA / Iowa State University Research Park
Time: 5:00 – 7:00pm / Comments at 6:00pm
Details: Enjoy light food and beverages
RSVP: Is not required

Join Local Leaders:
Kirk Bjorland – Iowa Innovation Corporation
Matt Busick – River Glen Private Capital
Jay Byers – Greater Des Moines Partnership
Michael Crum – Iowa State University
Dan Culhane – Ames Chamber of Commerce
Debi Durham – Iowa Economic Development Authority
Katherine Harrington – Business Record
Joe Hrdlicka – Iowa Biotechnology Association
Doug Hundt – Vermeer
Craig Ibsen – NextLevel Ventures
Kathryn Kunert – MidAmerican Energy
Steven Leath – Iowa State University
Anthony Paustian – DMACC
Mark Petri – Iowa Energy Center
Bob Riley – Feed Energy
Matt Rizai – Workiva
Paul Schickler – DuPont Pioneer
David Spalding – Iowa State University
Steve Sukup – Sukup Manufacturing
Brian Waller – Technology Association of Iowa
Jeff Weld – Governor’s STEM Advisory Council
Brent Willett – Cultivation Corridor
Tim Zarley – Zarley Law…and more!

“We are proud to be the presenter of the innovationLEADER of the Year Award. DuPont Pioneer has a stake in helping to solve some of our most important challenges, such as ensuring food and energy security in an environment of resource scarcity. We are using our global science and worldwide network to develop innovative local solutions for the world’s farmers.” Paul Schickler –President DuPont Pioneer

“Innovation begins at Iowa State University. Please join us at the launch party!” David Spalding – Raisbeck Endowed Dean Iowa State University College of Business

“I’m so looking forward to this event and connecting with Iowa’s innovation leaders.” Dr. Anthony Paustian – Provost West Des Moines Campus DMACC

“This will be one of the best networking events focused on Innovation this year. I would not miss it!” Craig Ibsen – Managing Principal NextLevel Ventures

“As a global hub for cutting-edge technology, STEM research and agbioscience, Greater Des Moines and the Cultivation Corridor have much innovation to celebrate. Join us April 5th! Jay Byers – CEO, Greater Des Moines Partnership

“I really appreciate this being high-profile event where we celebrate Iowa innovation – and we don’t do enough of that. Thank you to the Business Record!” Joe Hrdlicka – Executive Director, Iowa Biotechnology Association

“We are proud to be part of this key event bringing regional leaders together in Ames, the northern anchor of Iowa’s Cultivation Corridor.” Dan Culhane – President & CEO Ames Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development

Find out more at: http://www.BusinessRecord.com/innovationIOWA