Science & Technology
Governor Quinn Announces UIC Health Technology Research Hub PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Erin Wilson   
Thursday, 25 April 2013 07:30

Health, Technology, Innovation at Chicago Will Provide Lab and Office Space, Crucial Support to Drive Life Science Innovation and Job Creation

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by officials from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and the Illinois Medical District (IMD) Commission to announce a $3.4 million, 12,000-square-foot lab and office space that will serve as a new hub for Chicago’s flourishing bioscience industry. Part of the governor’s agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward, the Health, Technology, Innovation (HTI) at Chicago Technology Park will bring scientists, clinicians, engineers and industry together and create the nexus for an interdisciplinary approach to drug, diagnostic, medical device and information technology development. The announcement comes as Chicago hosts the BIO Conference, the largest biotech conference in the nation.

“Illinois’ thriving, cutting edge life sciences sector creates jobs while improving people’s lives,” Governor Quinn said. “The HTI will drive further growth in the field, serving as a key resource for our medical science researchers and providing a new platform through which innovative ideas can be developed and introduced to the marketplace.”

Strategically located within the Illinois Medical District near the campus of UIC’s Medical School, the new facility is funded through a $1.7 million state capital investment that was matched by $1.7 million of UIC funds. It is expected to open this summer and will house both shared wet and dry laboratory space, in addition to co-working office space. The HTI will be anchored by a fully-equipped meeting and classroom with high-definition video conferencing, recording and streaming.

The facility will provide the infrastructure where technology development work can take place outside of academic labs, with support and access to professional services to assist in commercialization planning and venture formation guidance. Access to talent, industry networks and connections to capital sources will be a future offering.

With a community based approach, HTI will serve University faculty, staff and students, Chicago area research institutions as well as the broader entrepreneurial community as a nexus of biotechnology commercialization. Laboratory and office space will be ready for occupancy in summer 2013.

HTI is an outgrowth of the Illinois Innovation Council which was created by Governor Quinn in February 2011 to identify and advance strategies that accelerate innovation, economic growth, and job creation. 

"Biotechnology start-ups have an often complicated road through development," University of Illinois President Robert Easter said. "With a fresh approach to incubating promising technologies, HTI will provide a foundation that aligns technology and market feasibility early on, even before companies are formed. Our aim is to produce not only more start-ups but more viable start-ups - companies that will advance both health care and economic development."

“IMD is very pleased to be able to work with our partners to deliver on Governor Quinn’s vision of harnessing the brainpower of our researchers to advance medical science and create jobs,” IMD Director Warren Ribley said. “The HTI will provide both a physical space and support services that will validate technology, convert innovation into products, and accelerate projects to venture readiness.”

“Life science start-ups have unique challenges, including the need for major capital and long development lifecycles,” Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Adam Pollet said. “We hope to create a platform that lowers barriers, addresses early stage risk and provides access to resources.”

Governor Quinn announced earlier this week that a new independent study by Ernst & Young LLP ranked Illinois at the top of the nation’s biotechnology industry, and the state is at the core of the most vibrant bioscience hub in the United States. The report, “The Economic Engine of Biotechnology in Illinois,” shows the Midwest Super Cluster, which includes Illinois and the surrounding eight-state region, surpasses California and the East Coast in biotechnology-related employment, number of establishments and research and development expenditures.

According to the new report, within the Midwest Super Cluster there are more than 16,800 biotechnology establishments employing more than 377,900 people. In addition, the overall economic output of Illinois' biotechnology industry is more than $98.6 billion, accounting for 81,000 direct jobs and more than 3,500 biotechnology companies in the state.

The full report may be viewed at ibio.org/illinoisbiotechreport.

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Iowa Wind Energy PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Larry Flowers   
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 14:34
I wanted to provide you a quick update on Iowa Senate bill SF 372, legislation that proposed to make it easier for owners of smaller scale wind energy projects to contract with utility companies at a fair market price.

SF 372 made excellent progress in the Iowa State Senate, but it will not be passed into law this year.  The Iowa Senate Majority Leader sent the bill back to the Senate Agriculture Committee, which had already approved the bill by a unanimous bipartisan vote. 

When the Iowa legislature reconvenes next year, we will alert you to opportunities to express your support for this legislation.

 
Facebook chooses Iowa for next data center location PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Tuesday, 23 April 2013 10:23

Minimum $299.5 million investment coming to Altoona

 

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today joined Altoona’s Mayor Skip Conkling in officially welcoming Facebook to Iowa.  The social networking company, which helps more than 1 billion people around the world connect and share with each other, announced that it will build a new, state-of-the-art data center in Altoona.

“Today’s announcement further solidifies Iowa’s position as a destination for tech companies – from major data center operations like Facebook’s to the innovative start-ups we continue to see popping up around our state,” said Gov. Branstad.  “Our productive workforce and our overall cost of doing business help us to win great projects like this.”

Lt. Gov. Reynolds added, “We are so proud to add Facebook to our list of world-renowned tech companies located in Iowa. Facebook’s investment continues sending the signal that Iowa is open for business and this administration is committed to attracting business and jobs here in all economic sectors."

Facebook will invest a minimum of $299.5 million in the project, which is expected to create hundreds of construction jobs and dozens of full-time operations jobs. The company evaluated several other sites before choosing the Iowa location.

The first phase of the project will result in a 476,000-square foot data center that will be among the most advanced and energy efficient of its kind. The data center will feature an innovative outdoor-air cooling system and the latest in Open Compute Project server designs, and it will be built to LEED Gold standards.

"I welcome Facebook to the Altoona community,” said Altoona Mayor Skip Conkling. “Quality companies and development make our city and state an even greater place to do business and to live and play. I want to thank all parties for their endeavors in securing this project."

Earlier today the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board approved $18 million in tax benefits through the High Quality Jobs program to Facebook to create at least 31 new jobs at a qualifying wage of $23.12 per hour. The project will have a minimum capital investment of $299.5 million. Local incentives from the city of Altoona were also approved today.

“We’re thrilled to become a part of the Altoona community, and especially appreciative of all the partners who helped make this project happen,” said Jay Parikh, vice president of infrastructure engineering for Facebook. “Facebook’s mission is to connect the world. Thanks to Iowa, we’re building the global infrastructure to bring the next billion people online.”

The 194-acre site selected in Altoona could accommodate up to two additional data center buildings that may be constructed in future phases of the project.

Other elected officials weighed in on the announcement today.

“I regret that I cannot be there in person today to join with Mayor Conkling, City Council members, and officials from Facebook to welcome the news of Facebook’s intention to expand into Iowa," said U.S. Senator Tom Harkin. "We have long known that Iowa is a great place to do business. Altoona in particular has been very focused on providing quality infrastructure at a fair cost to attract companies like Facebook, which add to our continued economic growth. So I welcome this announcement and I look forward to the improvements it will generate for our entire state.”

“America knows that Iowa is one of the tech-friendliest states in the country with an outstanding workforce to match, and Facebook’s announcement today firmly confirms that fact," said U.S. Congressman Tom Latham. "This new data center is unprecedented in scope and will bring jobs and economic development to Altoona, as well as further Iowa’s reputation as a top-notch place to innovate and do business. I congratulate the good people of Altoona for being a part of this exciting project, commend Facebook for pursuing it, and look forward to seeing the immense benefits it brings.”

 

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Q&A on the Keystone XL Pipeline with U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 19 April 2013 15:02

Q:        Why do you support the Keystone XL Pipeline?

A:        The crude oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast called the Keystone XL pipeline would provide 830,000 barrels of crude oil a day and help to counteract insufficient domestic oil supplies and reduce America’s dependence on less reliable foreign sources.  The way I see it, the energy and economic development benefits of this pipeline are too important to delay any longer.  Keystone XL contributes to a necessary, three-pronged approach for America’s energy policy.  We need to develop traditional oil and gas resources in America.  We need development, production and use of alternative renewable fuels.  We need to conserve energy.  What’s needed now is an increased supply of oil.  The Keystone XL pipeline would help maintain adequate crude oil supplies for U.S. refineries and let us decrease dependence on foreign crude oil supplies from the Persian Gulf and Venezuela.

Q:        What have you done to advance this pipeline?

A:        In March, I voted for an amendment offered by Senator John Hoeven to the Senate budget resolution.  The amendment expressed support for the approval and construction of the pipeline and passed with a bipartisan vote of 62 to 37.  It was mostly a symbolic vote because the budget resolution does not become law and isn’t binding.  But the vote demonstrates strong support within the Senate for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Q:        How has President Obama delayed the Keystone XL?

A:        Authority for siting oil pipelines generally lies with the states, but the construction of facilities at the U.S. border for exporting or importing petroleum or other fuels requires a Presidential Permit issued by the Department of State.  In this case, consideration has been drawn out, most likely to try to stop the pipeline from being built.  In 2008, TransCanada applied for a presidential permit from the State Department to construct and operate the pipeline.  In January 2012, the State Department recommended that the Presidential permit be denied.  The same day, the President stated his determination that the Keystone XL pipeline project would not serve the national interest.  This year, in January, the Governor of Nebraska approved a proposed reroute of the Keystone XL pipeline to avoid the Sand Hills due to the area’s unique soil properties.  So, TransCanada reapplied to the State Department in May 2012, along the new route through Nebraska.  This year, in March, the State Department released a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) on the new Presidential permit application.  The report basically found that the pipeline would not accelerate greenhouse gas emissions or significantly harm the environment along its route.  A final decision from the State Department and the Obama Administration on whether to grant the Presidential permit is expected after expiration of the comment period for the draft SEIS at the end of this month.

Monday, April 15, 2013

 
ELECTRONIC DEMANUFACTURING FACILITY MAINTAINS R2 CERTIFICATION PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Brandy Welvaert   
Monday, 15 April 2013 15:17

DAVENPORT, Iowa—Waste Commission of Scott County’s Electronic Demanufacturing Facility has completed and passed its annual surveillance audit to the Responsible Recycling (R2) Standard.

The facility is the first public agency in the world and the only agency in the state of Iowa to achieve this certification. There are approximately 360 facilities in the world that hold R2 certification.

By adhering to the R2 standard, the facility assures its customers that any sensitive data and toxic materials inside their electronics will be managed in the most responsible way. Data-containing items are caged and locked, monitored through a security system, and ultimately destroyed. All potentially harmful materials inside electronics—such as mercury, cadmium and lead—are captured and recycled responsibly. No harmful materials are shipped to developing countries. All of these practices are verified by an independent auditor.

The Electronic Demanufacturing Facility, 1048 East 59th St., Davenport, accepts e-waste with a circuit board and/or cathode-ray tube. Hours are 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays. No appointment is necessary, and there is no charge for residents of Scott and Rock Island counties. For more information, call (563) 823-0119 or visit www.wastecom.com. For more information about the R2 Standard, visit www.r2solutions.org.

Waste Commission of Scott County is an inter-governmental agency established in 1972 to provide environmentally sound and economically feasible solid waste management services for Scott County.

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