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IA: IA EDC Approves Awards for $246M Capital Investment, 436 New Jobs

20 Nov, 2017


The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to five companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 436 jobs, retention of 270 jobs and will result in over $246 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding for eight startups.

The board approved assistance for planned or proposed projects located in Riverdale, Swisher, Fort Dodge, Urbandale, Newton, Ames, Iowa City and Sioux City.

Arconic receives assistance for Riverdale facility project
Arconic, Inc., formerly known as Alcoa, Inc., has had its Davenport Works facility in Riverdale since 1948. The plant produces aluminum sheet and plate for a variety of industries. Arconic plans to purchase and install new machinery that will enable the company to offer a more complete package to its clients and continue its growth at the Riverdale facility. The board awarded Arconic $1,500,000 in direct financial assistance, as well as tax benefits from the High Quality Jobs program (HQJ) for this project. This $159.6 million capital investment is expected to create 30 jobs and retain 250 jobs incented at a qualifying wage of $18.30 per hour.

Cedar Ridge to expand distillery and increase production in Swisher
Cedar Ridge Vineyard, LLC, located in Swisher, produces distilled spirits, primarily whiskey and wine.  This project includes the expansion of the existing distillery and stillhouse to increase production, the addition of new equipment and construction of additional warehousing to hold aging spirits. The board awarded Cedar Ridge tax benefits from HQJ for this $2 million capital investment. The project is expected to create six jobs incented at a qualifying hourly wage of $24.32.

CJ Bio America to expand operations in Fort Dodge
CJ Bio America Inc. is a subsidiary of CJ Cheiljedang, a South Korean conglomerate. CJ Bio America falls within the biopharma segment and was founded in the U.S. in 2011 in Fort Dodge as a flagship for the company’s North American bio business. At this plant, CJ Bio America produces lysine, an essential amino acid, with a primary target of swine and poultry growers. The company was awarded tax benefits via HQJ for a $46 capital investment that involves construction of new production buildings to allow the company to expand its portfolio. The project is expected to create 18 jobs incented at a qualifying wage of $17.56 per hour.

John Deere’s Intelligent Solutions Group set to construct new facility in Urbandale
John Deere is a world leader in providing advanced products and services including agricultural, forestry, construction and consumer/commercial lawn equipment. The John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group is the company’s development facility specializing in developing advanced software and hardware technologies used in maximizing crop yields and improving food production infrastructure. The company, currently located in a leased facility in Urbandale, is considering the purchase of land and erecting a building to house their employees. The company was awarded tax benefits from HQJ. This project represents a $32.6 million capital investment and is expected to create 31 jobs and retain 20 jobs incented at a qualifying wage of $29.12 per hour.

TPI Composites to diversify manufacturing portfolio
TPI Composites LLC is a world leader in composites manufacturing, focusing in the areas of clean energy solutions. The company, known for its focus on the wind industry, is planning to diversify and manufacture bus bodies for electric-powered passenger buses. The board awarded TPI Composites $1,000,000 in direct financial assistance, as well as tax benefits via the HQJ program for this expansion project. The project has a capital investment of $6 million and will create 351 jobs at a qualifying hourly wage of $18.12 per hour. 

Awards made to eight startups
The Demonstration Fund provides financial and technical assistance to encourage high-technology prototype and concept development activities that have a clear potential to lead to commercially viable products or services within a reasonable period of time.

The fund provides financial assistance to encourage commercialization activities by small and medium-sized Iowa companies in the advanced manufacturing, biosciences and information technology industries. The primary purpose of the fund is to help businesses with a high-growth potential reach a position where they can attract later-stage, private-sector funding.

The Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) Fund provides financial assistance to innovative businesses that are pursuing proof of commercial relevance and marketability of a technology.  The fund is designed to assist businesses with new technologies that have completed the proof of concept stage and are ready to be subjected to the rigors of the proof of commercial relevance stage that includes defining the market for the product and perfecting the product to meet market needs.

Award recommendations for these funds are made by the Technology Commercialization Committee (TCC) to the IEDA Board for approval.

Based in Ames, ETALYC, LLC specializes in transportation analytics. The company has developed two solutions, INSIGHT and INCONTROL to build intelligence for roadways. Through proprietary algorithms for converting existing camera streams for detecting number of vehicles, and queue lengths they can make recommendations on signal re-timing. Additionally, this technology allows for real-time incident detection, detecting sudden unexpected changes in volume using the cameras and other sensor streams. The company received a $25,000 POCR loan for purchasing necessary equipment.

Based in Iowa City, L8NT is a software application that provides law enforcement with a tool to actively search for and locate stolen and/or wanted Wi-Fi devices. This patented technology has full control of the Wi-Fi signal from the point it is received as a radio signal to the point it is analyzed. L8NT also has a custom Wi-Fi adapter and directional antenna that can be used for precisely locating devices. The company received a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan for IP development and evaluation, product refinement, market planning and market entry activities and hiring key personnel. 

Nebullam LLC is designing and manufacturing High Pressure Aeroponics units, powered by artificial intelligence. This Ames-based startup is currently in cohort two of the Iowa State Startup Factory’s accelerator program. Nebullam requires additional R&D for determining the feasibility of producing unique crops within vertical growing units, as well as advancing current software capabilities regarding supervised machine learning. The company received a $25,000 POCR loan for IP development and evaluation, and product refinement.

Based in Ames, Sep-All was selected to be part of the first cohort of the Startup Factory at Iowa State University. This company utilizes a novel process to recover de-mix alloyed materials, with a potential application in the recovery of valuable materials from wastes. The project is aimed at testing the commercial relevance of the line of nanomaterials products. The company received a $25,000 POCR loan for product refinement.

Based in Ames, Gross-Wen Technologies, Inc. is an Iowa State University spinoff company founded in March 2013. The company produces a patent-pending, algae-based wastewater treatment system to recover nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater affordably and sustainably. The company has developed three solutions; algal-based treatment systems to remove pollutants from wastewater, operation, and maintenance contracts with RAB system customers and algae-based fertilizer. The company received a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan for hiring key personnel.

lienwavers.io is a Sioux City-based startup founded in January 2016. The company is a software solution to streamline construction disbursements. lienwaivers.io integrates with accounting and project management systems to extract payment information, enabling builders to process lien waivers and pay vendors quickly and electronically. The company received a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan for proof of concept work, product refinement, market planning activities, and hiring key personnel. 

Based in Ames, SAFI-Tech is a startup company with a patent-pending technology of supercooled liquid metal particles that can solder electronic components without heat. This technology can help manufacturers solve the challenges of incorporating new materials and new technologies into electronics to make the final devices flexible, lightweight, rugged, energy-efficient, and/or make them capable of being incorporated into buildings, clothes and packaging. The company received a $25,000 POCR Fund loan for market planning and market entry activities, hiring key personnel and equipment.

Tractor Zoom is a searchable mobile app platform specifically for upcoming farm equipment auctions based in Ames. The app utilizes software to streamline the auction advertising process and inform farmers. It allows users to search auction inventory across the country from a mobile device. The company received a $25,000 POCR loan for proof of concept work, product refinement, market planning and market entry activities and hiring key personnel. 

Download a spreadsheet of the awards: iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/UserDocs/programs/nov17awards.pdf.

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