A northwest Iowa bio-tech company that was at the center of a state debate over economic incentives has signed an agreement to work with the faculty and students of an area college. Dordt College spokesman Wesley Jamison says the school today (Tuesday) signed an “academic cooperation” agreement with Trans Ova Genetics — both are located in Sioux Center. He says as part of the agreement, the company will offer paid project internships for students who will work for the company “on problem solving involving complex opportunities and challenges.” Jamison, who is the director of the Dordt College Agricultural Stewardship Center, says there are other benefits as well. He says they’ll also have access to Trans Ova facilities for teaching opportunities and tours, and he says Dordt students will be given preferential hiring to workstudy students and graduates in biotechnology. Jamison says the agreement also involves selling some of the college’s buildings to the company. He says approximately 68 acres of the college’s farm and its old dairy buildings are being sold to Trans Ova. Jamison says Trans Ova wants the extra space to expand its animal biotechnology business. He calls the agreement a great opportunity for the school. He says all universities face the problem of keeping current with technology, especially in the animal sciences. He says it’s a particularly acute problem for small schools and this agreement will let them bridge that gap. Trans Ova was at the center of the economic development debate as the company tried to decided where a partner company would build its new biotech labs. The company eventually decided on South Dakota after a 33-million dollar state grant failed to make it out of the Iowa Legislature..
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