Iowa Signs On as OIT's Newest State Industries of the Future Partner
May 7, 2001
Iowa's Governor Tom Vilsack and DOE's Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT) Deputy Assistant Secretary, Denise Swink, signed a Memorandum of Understanding Thursday, April 19 at a ceremony in Des Moines, Iowa. The memorandum signifies a formal designation of the State of Iowa, state agencies, universities and local industry as partners with the Department of Energy and OIT in the State Industries of the Future strategy. Participants in the event included representatives from the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) at Iowa State University, Iowa Department of Natural Resources Energy Office, University of Northern Iowa, Iowa Energy Center, Iowa Department of Economic Development, Eastern Iowa Foundry Consortium, Indian Hills Foundry Consortium, Hawkeye Chapter, American Foundry Society, Agribusiness Association of Iowa, Iowa-Illinois-Nebraska Foundrymen's Association, Corn Growers Association, Soybean Promotion Board, Crop Improvement Association, Iowa's Association of Business and Industry, Ames National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory and DOE's Office of Industrial Technologies.
DOE and the State of Iowa have had a productive, cooperative relationship for many years. Iowa initiated its Industries of the Future (IOF) program in October 2000. Iowa's IOF is a cooperative effort among Iowa's local industries, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa State University, the Center for Industrial Research and Service, the University of Northern Iowa, and the Department of Energy's Office of Industrial Technologies. "The IOF program provides a unique partnership with federal and state governments as well as the private sector," said Governor Vilsack. He also explained, "These partnerships are crucial to the economy of Iowa, especially agriculture, bioproducts, metalcasting and eventually chemicals."
Ron Cox, Director of CIRAS in Iowa, said, "Iowa is not waiting for the "new economy' to arrive. We are actively designing our economy; an economy with a foundation based on information, advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, and a workforce with an unparalleled work ethic. The signing of the compact by Governor Vilsack is symbolic of Iowa industry's vision for a heightened partnership with DOE. This partnership will aid in increasing the amount of technology developed in the United States and in elevating the performance of Iowa industry."
Agriculture and chemicals are two key industries in Iowa. As a result of the progress of the agriculture and chemical industries in bioenergy and biobased products, the Biorenewable Resources Consortium (BRC) was conceived. BRC is co-administered by the Ames Laboratory in partnership with the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station and in cooperation with Iowa State University and the agricultural and business communities. The goals of the consortium are to develop agricultural-derived alternatives to petrochemicals and other fossil resources, promote value-added agriculture and rural development, improve environmental performance, distribute products and information through the extension network, and link to all departments and centers as well as agricultural processors and producers. The BRC will be launched by a vision and roadmapping exercise that is organized under the Iowa IOF program. The BRC is linked to the Midwest Biobased Consortium, a regional partnership with a similar objective that includes Federal Laboratories (Ames Laboratory, Argonne Laboratory, and the Peoria USDA Laboratory) and four universities (Iowa State University, the University of Illinois, Purdue University and Michigan State University). OIT has also played an active role in developing the Midwest Biobased Consortium.
OIT's mission is to support the development and deployment of advanced energy efficiency, renewable energy, and pollution prevention technologies for industrial application. OIT's portfolio addresses the needs of the nine most energy-intensive IOFs including agriculture, aluminum, chemicals, forest products, glass, metalcasting, mining, petroleum, and steel. The IOF strategy fosters partnerships between government and industry at the national level. The State IOF strategy extends the opportunity to deliver the process and accomplishments of the IOF strategy to a larger and more comprehensive set of customers including local industry (including many smaller businesses and manufacturers who cannot participate at the national level), academia, and state agencies. State IOF participants utilize industry visions and roadmaps, once created at the national level, as a model and transformed to areas most needed.
Following the Iowa State event, both the states of Maine and New Hampshire signed a State Industries of the Future Memorandum of Understanding with DOE. Governor Angus King from Maine and Governor Jeanne Shaheen from New Hampshire signed the memoranda and launched efforts similar to those in Iowa, including industry technology roadmapping sessions in the Metals and Forest Products areas, key industries in these two states.
For more information on Iowa's Memorandum of Understanding with DOE or States Industries of the Future, please contact DOE/OIT States Team Leader, Sandy Glatt, at 202-526-3897 or firstname.lastname@example.org.