A state board has approved a proposal that would extend nine million dollars in state economic development funds to Sioux Center-based TransOva Genetics for a major expansion of the life science company. Henry Royer, a Cedar Rapids banker, sits on the small group that reviewed TransOva’s application for money from the new “Iowa Values Fund.” Royer says TransOva is “very near and dear to the state of Iowa.” Royer says TransOva has a “strong body of competency” in their field. Royer says the nine million dollars will be distributed in parcels, and state economic development officials need to ensure TransOva meets certain threshholds for their research projects before the money’s released.Royer says it’s a “very high risk venture for the Iowa Values Fund,” but it is “possibly the future.” TransOva has at least seven different research projects underway, such as cloning cattle to produce milk that would be used as a nutritional supplement. The company asked for 13-point-six million from the Iowa Values Fund. Royer says the state is extending a package worth about 15 million — including job training support and forgiving sales taxes on any lab construction. The Iowa Values Board has also approved a one million dollar forgivable loan for a software company that’s based in New York City which plans to relocate in downtown Des Moines. Royer says G-Commerce would move its 15 employees to Des Moines, spend a total of nine million dollars on a new office here, and promises to eventually employ 157 people — with salaries of at least 50-thousand dollars a piece. Royer says the company makes software that allows various computer systems to “talk to each other.”Earlier this morning, the proposed state investments won an endorsement from a small group that examines such projects in detail, then the Iowa Values Board voted to approve the financing.
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