Iowa Department of Economic Development director Michael Blouin says over 130 companies have already expressed an interest in applying for some of the 500-million dollars that’s in the new state economic development fund.Blouin says a lot of them are very large, established corporations in the life science or biotech industry that want to be in the upper Midwest. He says some Iowa-based businesses looking to expand or update facilities are on that list, too. Trans Ova Genetics in Sioux Center is one of the Iowa-based company that’s made it clear other states are vying for its expansion. Blouin admits it’d be a big black eye for the state if Trans Ova Genetics goes elsewhere.. Blouin says Trans Ova officials may be disheartened because the bill that created the “Iowa Values Fund” didn’t specifically mention the company, but Blouin says he doesn’t want to lose the company to another state. TransOva executives say Iowa has a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be the center of the universe in animal biotechnology.” Blouin expects to meet with Trans Ova executives in mid-July, after a board’s been appointed to review applications for the “Iowa Values Fund” money. Blouin says it hasn’t made sense to talk until the details are nailed down. The Governor signed legislation this week that created the new 503-million dollar economic development fund.
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