Science & Technology
Connect Iowa Releases 2011 Residential Broadband Adoption Survey Results PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Jessica Ditto   
Tuesday, 25 October 2011 13:02

37% of Iowa residents still do not have broadband at home

Des Moines, IA – Today, Connect Iowa released new residential broadband adoption survey results revealing the top trends in technology use among key demographics in Iowa. The preliminary indicators from the survey are available online, which gives a comprehensive view of the challenges and opportunities for expanding broadband in targeted sectors. According to the survey, approximately 37% of the population still does not subscribe to broadband. Most notably, the majority of low-income, senior, disabled adult, and Hispanic households are without broadband at home, leaving them facing an uphill battle in keeping up with essential online resources, job and educational opportunities, and social services.

“Improved broadband connectivity is vital in terms of spurring economic development,” said Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. “Better broadband access stimulates job creation, boosts productivity, improves educational resources for tomorrow’s workforce, and ultimately enhances the state’s economic standing in the international arena.”

This survey is conducted in support of Connect Iowa’s efforts to close the state’s digital gap. The survey explores the main barriers to adoption – cost, digital skills, and relevance – and also provides unique insights into the national broadband landscape.

“These findings are key to helping us create custom local and regional broadband deployment plans,” said Connect Iowa Program Manager Amy Kuhlers. “Connect Iowa’s goal is quality broadband access, adoption, and use across all corners of the state.”

The survey reveals that:

  • 45% of Iowans living in rural areas do not subscribe to broadband service at home.
  • When comparing to the 63% of all households that do subscribe, there remain large gaps among key demographics:
    • 62% of low-income households;
    • 66% of seniors are without broadband.
  • 42% of low-income households with children are without access to this essential tool at home.
  • The biggest gap is among low-income seniors. Only 26% of low-income seniors subscribe to broadband and only 41% have a computer at home.
  • The largest barrier to non-adopters is relevance - 26% of non-adopters say there isn’t Internet content worth viewing. The second most commonly cited barrier is that it is too expensive.
  • The top reasons Iowans say they started using broadband is because they realized it was worth the cost or it became available.

These results and comparisons to many others are available on Connect Iowa’s new consumer trends widget. This interactive tool gives people the ability to view, share, and download the results. Connect Iowa will use these survey results to target solutions in communities based on the demographic and economic barriers that the surveys indicate are most relevant to those communities.

This release comes on the heels of the FCC’s newly released plans to launch a comprehensive public-private initiative called Connect to Compete, aimed at extending digital literacy training and providing employment assistance to communities. Connect Iowa’s parent organization, Connected Nation, is one of the top strategic advisors in the national initiative.

Connect Iowa’s 2011 residential survey was conducted in the summer of 2011 and includes responses from 3,600 residents. The survey was conducted as part of the State Broadband Initiative (SBI) grant program, funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and by the American Recovery and Reinvestment of 2009.

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About Connect Iowa: Connect Iowa is a subsidiary of Connected Nation and operates as a nonprofit in the state of Iowa to promote broadband access, adoption, and use. The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is leading the initiative to increase broadband Internet access throughout rural Iowa. Connect Iowa was commissioned by the state to work with all broadband providers in Iowa to create detailed maps of broadband coverage and develop a statewide plan for the deployment and adoption of broadband. For more information visit: www.connectiowa.org.

 
EPA Awards $6.6 Million to Universities for Black Carbon Research PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by David Bryan   
Tuesday, 25 October 2011 10:52

EPA Awards Almost $900,000 to University of Iowa Black Carbon Research

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded more than $6.6 million in grants to eight universities in support of black carbon research. Black carbon is the sooty black material emitted from diesel-powered engines and vehicles, industries like brick kilns and coke ovens, traditional cookstoves, and other sources that burn fossil fuels or biomass. Black carbon can affect the climate in the near term, and like other types of fine particles, can cause serious health effects such as cardiovascular and respiratory ailments. Unlike greenhouse gases, which remain in the atmosphere for decades or centuries, black carbon particles only stay in the atmosphere for days or weeks. Therefore, reducing black carbon emissions could have a positive effect on our climate quickly.

 

"This research on black carbon will provide valuable information about the impact of black carbon on climate change," says William Sanders, director of EPA’s National Center for Environmental Research. “An increased understanding of the impact black carbon has on climate change will better protect people and the environment."

 

EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program awarded nine grants to support research to study the role and effects of black carbon. The research will analyze the impacts of black carbon on air and water quality, investigate the behavior of black carbon aerosols in the atmosphere, and develop innovative tools such as computer models to look at black carbon deposits on snow. Black carbon deposited on snow and ice hastens melting by directly absorbing sunlight and by darkening the surface, which reduces the amount of light reflected back to space. The research also examines the aging of black carbon in the atmosphere.

 

Award recipients include the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Carnegie Mellon University; University of California, Irvine; University of California, Riverside; University of Iowa; University of Washington; University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Rutgers University.

 

More information on the black carbon research projects: www.epa.gov/ncer/blackcarbon

 

University of Iowa project team will receive $895,432 for their black carbon research project.

 

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Governor Quinn Announces Agreement to Enhance Illinois’ Biotech Industry PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Katelyn Tye   
Thursday, 22 September 2011 14:45

Furthers Efforts to Build on Illinois’ Global Competitiveness, Create Jobs

SHANGHAI, CHINA – September 22, 2011. During his economic and business trade mission throughout China, Governor Pat Quinn today announced the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC), an Illinois-based association that represents leading research universities and technology companies, iBIO, an Illinois-based life sciences industry association, and China-based Shanghai Bio Pharmaceutics Association (SBIA) to increase economic opportunities for both regions in the bio-technology field.

“Illinois and China are each leading global sources for biotechnology, life sciences and medical innovation,” Governor Quinn said. “This agreement provides a framework for Illinois and China to enhance business and education partnerships and collaborate on the scientific breakthroughs that will accelerate company growth and foster the creation of jobs.”

The agreement, which was signed during a breakfast ceremony in Shanghai today, will create an important line of communication between the organizations, allow for collaboration among researchers and industry, and open the lines of communication amongst technology parks to increase exports and investment.

As the home of more than 200 institutions of higher education, as well as several prestigious national labs, the state of Illinois is uniquely positioned as a Midwestern and national leader in science and technology research and development. In Illinois, academic research expenditures in the biosciences totaled $1.3 billion in 2008, according to the Battelle Memorial Institute. Illinois has 58,000 workers directly employed in the biosciences sector at more than 2,000 biotech establishments (with an average wage of nearly $90,000). Indirectly, this sector supports more than 330,000 Illinois jobs. Six of the top 20 pharma and life sciences firms also have their North American HQ’s headquarters in Illinois.

“Collaboration and partnership strengthen our ability to tackle tough scientific and technological problems,” said ISTC President Matthew Summy. “We look forward to working with the SBIA to identify and produce solutions that not only offer the potential to improve medical treatment, but also offer the promise of increased investment and new jobs.”

The mission of the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition is to cultivate economic development in Illinois by working with public and private partners to attract and retain research, development and innovation resources and talent to the state.

SBIA is a non-profit organization that represents biopharmaceutical companies and research institutions in Shanghai by participating in policy-making and creating industry networks to improve the competitiveness of the bio-pharmaceutical industry. With six bio-pharmaceutics parks, Shanghai has become one of the main platforms for bio-tech innovation and development in the world.

The mission of iBio is to make Illinois and the surrounding Midwest one of the world’s top life sciences centers, a great place to do business and grow new technology ventures. The national BIO organization selected Governor Quinn as the 2011 BIO "Governor of the Year" at the recent BIO International Convention in Washington D.C.

For updates on Governor Quinn’s trip, visit www.Illinois.gov or follow him on Twitter at @GovernorQuinn. More information about Illinois trade and business opportunities can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website at http://www.illinoisbiz.biz.

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Governor Quinn Announces Winner in Open Data App Development Contest PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Katelyn Tye   
Monday, 29 August 2011 09:18

GoChicago Takes Advantage of Information at Data.Illinois.Gov

CHICAGO – August 27, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the GoChicago app has been named the state winner of the Apps For Metro Chicago contest, which was launched earlier this summer to engage Illinois’ high-tech entrepreneurial community with the goal of using public data to improve the lives of millions of Illinois residents.

“Helping people use the information they pay for in new and innovative ways will improve the lives of all Illinois residents,” Governor Quinn said. “GoChicago shows what the best and brightest minds in Illinois can do when the private and public sectors work together.”

GoChicago contains data from the City of Chicago, State of Illinois and Illinois Department of Transportation, including designated landmarks, parks, police stations, rest areas and street cameras. With GoChicago, users can make a list of the places in Chicago they'd like to see, view directions to each place on a map or call the place for more information. After seeing a place, GoChicago users can mark the place done, concentrating thereafter only on the places they haven't yet seen. At any point in their visit to Chicago, they can share their list of places with their friends via email, including links to related Web pages.

The competition allows developers to create applications using nearly 200 data sets that have been made available by the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago and Cook County, in hopes of creating thousands of new applications that will make profound impacts on the way residents enjoy their lives.

Illinois Open Data site, www.Data.Illinois.Gov, is a searchable clearinghouse of information from state agencies that will help inform residents about the operation of state government and encourage the creative use of state information, including the development of applications for mobile devices that can be built around the data.

The data site is an initiative of the Illinois Innovation Council, created by Governor Quinn in February, to promote economic development through innovation and the engagement of citizens, developers, academia and industry. The council promotes the role and importance of innovation in economic development and quality of life. For more information, please visit www.illinoisinnovation.com.

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Local Ad Agency’s Web-based Software Closes the Gaps in Media Buying PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Jake Glimco   
Tuesday, 09 August 2011 12:35

Rock Island  , IL / August 9, 2011 – Advertisers have never had more options available to them.   Comparing how specific options deliver to a target audience can be mind-numbing.  One local advertising agency is addressing the need for a system that better filters all the options through the standardized metrics that measure effectiveness.  Rock Island-based Media Link is announcing the nationwide launch of its own cutting-edge web-based media buying system, Media Link Software™ (MLS).  MLS provides small to mid-size advertising agencies and internal marketing departments the tools to better manage the demands for effective marketing strategies in a constantly changing media landscape.  

  

“There are so many media choices now that our industry really needed a software system addressing each media equally.  That really didn’t exist. So we did it ourselves.  Now we’re offering this system to other large media buyers,” said Media Link President Natalie Linville-Mass.  

   

“When I started this agency 10 years ago, hiring an Advertising Agency was really just an option some businesses chose for convenience.  Now, with all of the changes in the media landscape, an advertising agency has become a vital ‘extender’ for marketing directors struggling to keep their eyes on the big picture,” says Linville-Mass and then goes on to explain.  “The myriad of choices have created an enormous assortment of options, frankly, many businesses are drowning in as a result.  The decisions need to be driven by hard data and thoroughly understanding this data is pivotal to the effectiveness of any marketing plan.”  

  

Media Link Software™ (MLS), the brainchild of Linville-Mass and a creative team of industry experts, delivers data-driven results while crafting media strategies for traditional and online media outlets. Determined to provide agencies like hers an affordable, time-saving solution to media buying, Linville-Mass said, “This new software not only gives the companies we serve precise information, it also is designed to save advertising agencies a tremendous amount of time” said Linville-Mass.      

  

MLS challenges the limitations of other systems through enhanced user-friendly functions, easily accessible customer support and advanced technologies designed to deliver more accurate media guidance. The system utilizes a comprehensive process for placing buys to pinpoint the most cost-effective options clients need to achieve the maximum return on investment.  

  

To achieve her goal of creating an easy-to-use and comprehensive media buying software, Linville-Mass turned to Breur Media Corporation, a web development and programming company centered in   Cedar Rapids ,  IA.   “It isn’t often that an opportunity arises to completely re-imagine an entire industry’s way of thinking, “says Arthur Breur, President of Breur Media.  “This software does just that by completely overhauling the media buying experience and bringing the process up to date by including 21st century media types in the mix.”      

   

Using standard industry formulas to help identify how to best reach the intended target audience, MLS paints a clear picture of what works and what doesn’t to facilitate comparative buys in TV, radio, print, outdoor, online and specialty advertising outlets.  

  

Media Link, Inc. is an 8(a) SDB Certified, woman-owned small business and full-service advertising agency dedicated to helping companies at local, regional and national levels develop strategic marketing plans and make informed advertising decisions.  

 

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