Legislators and the Governor appear poised to spend millions to help buildnew research facilities somewhere in Iowa. Republican House SpeakerChristopher Rants of Sioux City says if we snooze, we lose. Rants says other states are making “major plays” in the biotech fieldbecause it’s where economic growth is going to come from in the next fewyears. He says “Iowa has got to be a player.”There’s a scramble to determine whether some federal grants can be used tohelp finance the facility, but Governor Vilsack and legislators areindicating the state may put up a good share of the 25-MILLION that’s neededto build an F-D-A approved laboratory that could be used by a number ofbio-tech firms. Rants says the infrastructure involved is extremely expensive, and it’s notthe kind of thing a small, start-up company can afford. But he says byhaving the state create labs that can be used by such companies, there’s a”cluster effect” and a bunch of high-tech firms will put their offices nearthe labs. Officials from a Sioux Center company called TransOva Genetics metwith legislators this week to discuss the need for a high-tech laboratoryfor purifying cows’ milk so its components can be separated out and used forother purposes.
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