UI Economic Development





Through its collective economic development efforts, the University of Iowa is committed to helping Iowa innovators create, the state’s businesses and workforce thrive, and communities prosper by providing the knowledge, resources, and support to meet 21st century challenges and transform ideas into real-world solutions.

Hawkeye Innovation SummitGoals

  • Move faculty research and intellectual property into the marketplace and creating innovative technologies that companies can use.

  • Strengthen and diversifying the Iowa economy by providing support and expertise to emerging, new, and established small businesses.

  • Help support a sufficient, highly skilled workforce to capitalize on technology advances and global opportunities.

  • Encourage Iowa’s students to pursue rewarding careers in high-demand fields through STEM education and activities, research opportunities, career planning, internships and job placement assistance.


David ConradDavid Conrad

Assistant Vice President for Economic Development

Please send comments, questions or suggestions about our initiatives to support Iowa businesses to:







Daniel Reed, the UI’s Vice President for Research and Economic Development, took a tour around the state to assess businesses’ needs. One thing he heard again and again: there’s a major shortage of skilled workers in IT, web development and highly technical fields.

Technology Assistance
UIPartners was created to consult with small businesses throughout Iowa on their technology needs, such as creating websites, managing databases, advanced networking, computer optimization and monitoring, or general tech support. This translates into projects that student interns can work on, allowing the students to build their resumes while also connecting with innovative Iowa businesses.  

Technical Training
To support Iowa’s entrepreneurs, targeted technology training is available through the University of Iowa's Dev/Iowa programs.  Designed and led by industry experts, the courses offer a hands-on, immersive learning environment. Emphasizing fundamental web development skills and industry practices the courses a skill-set heavily sought after by employers across the state and the rest of the world.

Business Strategy
We partner with our friends at John PappaJohn Entrepreneurial Center to bring leading edge informatics expertise and business training to organizations, startups, and established businesses.  We use advanced entrepreneurship and business training to help find innovative solutions for your business.

Website: http://uipartners.uiowa.edu
Email: uipartners@uiowa.edu



UIProtoLabs is a multi-facility prototyping resource at the University of Iowa open to faculty, students and staff, startups, businesses, and the general public. The partners that make up UIProtoLabs are the University’s Engineering Machine Shop, Physics & Astronomy Machine Shop, and M.C. Ginsberg Advanced Design and Manufacturing.  These shops can provide an array of prototyping services including:  3-D printing, development of associated electronics/software, and project design.  

What is a prototype?
A prototype is one of the rst units manufactured of a product, which is tested so that the design can be changed if necessary before the product is manufactured commercially.

Anyone can apply!
UIProtoLabs will cover the costs of labor for University-affiliated projects that have commercialization or economic development potential. All participants are responsible for covering the materials costs associated with their prototypes.

Let us help you
We can provide an array of prototyping services including: 

  • 3-D Printing
  • Electronics Development
  • Software Development
  • Project Design

Website: http://uiprotolabs.uiowa.edu
Email: uiprotolabs@uiowa.edu


UIResearch Foundation

The University of Iowa Research Foundation (UIRF) - a 501C3 corporation - commercializes University of Iowa developed technologies and inventions through licensing and new venture formation, and manages the subsequent revenue stream.  View the University of Iowa Intellectual Property Policy.

The UIRF’s primary functions are:

  • New Ventures - identifying and developing new high growth UI technology spinout companies suitable for venture capital financing
  • Licensing - finding suitable partners for commercializing UI technologies and inventions
  • Intellectual property services - which include protecting UI inventions through patents and copyrights, advising on intellectual property terms for Clinical Trials and Sponsored Research, and executing out-going material transfers

Website: http://research.uiowa.edu/uirf
Email: zev-sunleaf@uiowa.edu


UIResearch Park

The University of Iowa Research Park - where collaborative opportunities in technology abound. We offer corporations locating at the Park convenient, sustained access to the extensive, relevant research resources of The University of Iowa. Here, growing enterprises have access to a state-of-the art business incubator, world-class research facilities and a dynamic faculty of scientists, physicians and engineers at one of the world’s leading public research universities.

Technology thrives through research
Established in 1989, The University of Iowa Research Park (formerly Oakdale Research Park) leases building sites and space to growing technology companies that require sustained research relationships with the UI.

The new BioVentures Center's business incubator facility offers flexible, cost-effective wet lab space to new business ventures. The UI business incubator program was among the first in the nation when it was established in 1984 and has nurtured nearly 100 UI spinouts and other new ventures.

Website: http://researchpark.uiowa.edu/
Email: stephanie-dengler@uiowa.edu



The UIVentures program assists university inventors in creating new ventures based on their research. The program provides assistance in many areas, including:

  • Funding
  • Licensing
  • Mentoring
  • Business Creation
  • Commercialization

Who we help
The UIVentures program assists University of Iowa:

  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Graduate Students
  • Postdocs and Research Associates

Our Ventures have access to business assitance, professional mentors and university resources

How does it work?
UIVentures works closely with the University of Iowa's Research Foundation (UIRF) to make sure ideas are well protected.  The UIRF manages the university's intellectual property by working with inventors to protect UI-based discoveries through patents and copyrights.  UIRF also licenses these technologies to existing companies and to university spinout ventures.

Website: http://uiventures.uiowa.edu 
Email: paul-dymerski@uiowa.edu


John PappaJohn Entrepreneurial Center

The University of Iowa’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) is committed to being a national leader in teaching and supporting innovation and entrepreneurial development. That’s why we’ve created a unique, cross-campus program through partnerships with the Colleges of Business, Engineering, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Medicine.

We’re proud to play an important role in the development of Iowa-based technology and high-growth start-up companies. Whether it’s granting an office space in the Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory, awarding seed grants to aspiring companies through competitions, providing business consulting services, or directing UI students on advanced field study projects, we seek to support the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.

We believe that innovation can occur at any age. Our affiliate, Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship provides K-12 students access to a wide variety of classroom and practical educational experiences. While, our affiliate UI Small Business Development Center specializes in community outreach initiatives.

Throughout the year, we provide a number of opportunities to UI students, faculty and staff, as well as the community at large. Visit our online Calendar of Events and stay up-to-date with on our latest news by reading our blog and subscribing to our monthly newsletters.

Website: http://iowajpec.org
Email: iowajpec@uiowa.edu