Economic Development and Technology Transfer

As a public research university, The University of Iowa has the responsibility to stimulate economic development and extend the benefits of our learning and discoveries to the citizens of our community, region, state, nation and the world. 


Iowa Centers for Enterprise

In 2005, in an effort to align research strengths and business opportunities, the University formed the Iowa Centers for Enterprise.  The Iowa Centers for Enterprise offers a comprehensive program that provides assistance to Iowa startups and existing Iowa businesses and communities, helps the state of Iowa develop a creative entrepreneurial workforce and optimizes the flow of intellectual property into opportunities for licensing, commercialization and business development. 

Whether you are a member of the University faculty, staff or student body, or part of a start-up or existing business, the Iowa Centers for Enterprise can create connections and open doors to innovation, expertise, and entrepreneurship.

Tech Transfer & Commercialization

Office & Wet Lab Space

Entrepreneurs & Small Businesses





Technology Transfer & Commercialization

University of Iowa Research Foundation
The UIRF works with faculty, staff, and students to develop, protect and commercialize UI intellectual property. We’re passionate about bringing innovations out of the lab and into the marketplace.  Commercialization involves both licensing and startup companies, many of which take root in Iowa and add to the growth of existing industry as well as our burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem.  We welcome the opportunity to discuss your ideas, new research directions, and innovations.

This guide is to facilitate those who have
  •  never disclosed an invention nor sought to patent their IP
  •  disclosed an invention(s) and have initiated  discussion with UIRF and
  •  received patents and continue to develop new IP and inventions.


Researcher Guidebook:
A Guide for Successful Institutional-Industrial Collaborations

Produced by the University - Industry Demonstration Partnership
This Researcher Guidebook addresses the opportunities and challenges unique to institution and industry collaborations, specifically targeting active researchers (at all career stages) and is the product of the collective expertise of the UIDP's member representatives. The guidebook is divided into two parts: Part 1 is dedicated to the Institutional Researcher; Part 2 is dedicated to the Industrial Researcher. These two companion portions of the guidebook together create a strategic tool to promote greater understanding of the issues that face both parties in order to facilitate more effective collaborations for mutual benefit. Reading this guidebook should lead the researcher to ask the right questions, both of the organization and of the potential collaborator, to determine whether to proceed with a particular collaboration.


Providing Space and Support for Existing and New Growing Business

The University of Iowa Research Park offers businesses locating at the Park convenient, sustained access to the extensive, relevant research resources of The University of Iowa
University of Iowa Research Park

Growing enterprises can lease office space in the Technology Innovation Center.  Those needing wet lab space have access to the BioVentures Center, a new state of the art business incubator.  The Research Park also leases building sites and space to growing technology companies that require sustained research relationships with the UI.


Aiding Entrepreneurs

The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center

The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) is a unique collaboration between the University’s Henry B. Tippie College of Business, College of Engineering, Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.   Formed in 1996, JPEC delivers innovative educational, training, and outreach programs to students, faculty, aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners throughout the state of Iowa.


Promoting Growth & Servicing Iowa Small Businesses

Small Business Development Center

The UI Small Business Development Center has been serving the Iowa counties of Cedar, Johnson, Iowa, Poweshiek, and Washington since 1981. We are one of 13 centers in the Iowa SBDC network.  For more information about our Small Business Development Center, please contact the director, Paul Heath.



Daniel Reed, Vice President for Research and Economic Development, 319-335-2132

David Hensley, Interim Associate Vice President for Research and Executive Director, John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, 319-335-1022

Lee Groeschl, Associate Director of Economic Development, 319-335-4549

UI Research Park/Business Incubation, 319-335-4063

Zev Sunleaf Executive Director, University of Iowa Research Foundation, 319-335-4155

Paul Heath, Director, Small Business Development Center, 319-335-3742