The FDA-registered pharmaceutical facility at the University of Iowa

University of Iowa Pharmaceuticals (UIP) is already the largest university-affiliated, FDA-registered pharmaceutical facility in the U.S., and it’s about to get even bigger. UIP will occupy space in the new University of Iowa College of Pharmacy Building, which is expected to be move-in ready by early 2020.

This 296,000 square foot building will have 16 laboratory science research spaces, adding to the more than 30,000 square feet UIP currently occupies at the University of Iowa Research Park and the current College of Pharmacy building.

The new space will help continue the University of Iowa’s leadership in the field of pharmaceutical design and manufacturing. Since 1974, UIP has manufactured FDA-compliant clinical materials for clients outside of the University of Iowa umbrella. Today, the organization manufactures commercial products approved for use in both the U.S. and the European Union. The facility is the only one of its kind offering the range and scope of services needed by commercial clients. The senior staff at UIP have an average of more than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical research and development.

UIP and the University of Iowa have turned Iowa City into a pharmaceutical development center. The Iowa City area has one of the highest concentrations of pharmaceutical jobs of any small metro area in the country, according to a report by BIO, the global trade association for the biotech industry. With this expansion, UIP will be able to process larger client orders and provide even greater outsourced resources to growing pharmaceutical companies.

For more information on what Iowa offers companies operating in the human health sector, visit our bioscience page or contact the Iowa Economic Development Authority at

The potential for biogas innovation in Iowa

The newly released Iowa Energy Plan includes this finding:

In Iowa the use of biomass to produce electricity directly or to produce biogas remains an untapped potential and abundant resource.

Biogases are gas emissions from organic waste (called biomass in the report), from both animal and human sources. These gases can be collected and refined into methane, the primary component of natural gas, and then used as electricity or vehicle fuel.

The above map from the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows the biogas potential in counties across the United States, with most of Iowa shaded. Iowa’s high number of agricultural operations provides the opportunity for viable biogas projects across almost the entire state, particularly in conjunction with swine farms. A study quoted in the Iowa Energy Plan estimates an initial investment of $8 million in an agricultural biogas project could yield $69.5 million in economic output over 20 years.

The American Biogas Council (ABC) currently lists five operational agricultural biogas operations in Iowa, with the potential for more than 1,000 additional projects. If completed, these projects have the potential to provide electricity to more than 150,000 homes, or fuel thousands of vehicles according to ABC.

The state of Iowa offers a number of programs that can be used for biogas projects, and innovation funding for new companies looking to capitalize on the potential of biogas in Iowa. For information on receiving funding for a specific biogas project, contact the Iowa Energy Center at For more information on how the state of Iowa supports startup businesses, contact the Iowa Economic Development Authority at

To download the full Iowa Energy Plan, visit

The University of Iowa’s newly expanded incubator system

University of Iowa faculty and students conduct hundreds of millions of dollars in medical research annually.  Now, a recently expanded incubator system is helping those individuals transfer that research into profitable private enterprises.

Translational Research Incubator

The Translational Research Incubator is an early-stage incubator and accelerator with lab space for faculty to get their private enterprises started. The incubator is conveniently located on the University of Iowa’s medical campus, so faculty can quickly commute between their academic duties and their private companies. Ventures are expected to transition out of the incubator within one year, with a management team and capital investment in place.

The University of Iowa Research Park Bioventures Center

The Bioventures Center on the University of Iowa’s Research Park in Coralville has wet lab, office and meeting space for startup companies. In addition to the facilities, companies have access to support in applying for federal small business financing, educational seminars and networking opportunities.


Located near bars and restaurants on downtown Iowa City’s pedestrian mall, the MERGE space opening in spring 2017 is for graphic artists, medical device and tech startups. MERGE will include a prototyping space with 3D modeling software and hardware, and electronics equipment to support the creation of biomedical devices and wearable technology. MERGE is a joint venture between the University of Iowa and local economic development groups.

The state of Iowa offers programs to help startups grow and employ more Iowans, check out our Business Development programs.