The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has approved a $200,000 Strategic Infrastructure Program grant to support the work of protostudios, a University of Iowa-managed, state-of-the-art, rapid-prototyping facility located in the MERGE co-lab space in downtown Iowa City. 


Protostudios works with clients to develop fully functional prototypes of inventions allowing them to test, redesign, and determine manufacturing paths and demonstrate usability to potential investors. While its focus is on biomedical and electronics prototyping, protostudios assists all Iowa entrepreneurs in translating their ideas into working models.


With protostudios, the IEDA said the university is filling "a critical gap in Iowa's advanced manufacturing infrastructure through the establishment of a biomedical and electronics prototyping hub for medical devices.”


IEDA’s Strategic Infrastructure program supports projects that develop commonly used assets that provide an advantage to one or more private sector entity or that create necessary physical infrastructure in Iowa.  The Iowa Innovation Council recommends awards to the IEDA board for approval.


Protostudios staff include Hayley Yearian, Associate Director for Economic Development; Neil Quellhorst, Engineering Prototype Director (; and Chuck Romans, 3D Design Prototyping Director ( and 319-335-6067).


Protostudios is part of the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, which provides resources and support to researchers and scholars at the University of Iowa and to businesses across Iowa with the goal of forging new frontiers of discovery and innovation and promoting a culture of creativity that benefits the campus, the state, and the world. More at, and on Twitter: @DaretoDiscover