Iowa’s three regents universities will team up to put on a kind of technology fair beginning next week, to demonstrate how much their research has enriched economic development in the state.

Professor Tahira Hira, who’s also a special assistant to the president of Iowa State University, She says the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa have been working for years, for decades, on developing new inventions, products and ways of doing things and solving problems — and helping businesses, farmers and people enhance their well-being.
She says in a nutshell, they’ve been making a contribution to the economic development of the state.

Hira says there may be some people who think what goes on in the university, stays in the university — but that’s not the case. “We produce inventions,” Hira says, explaining that’s called the development of a technology, and it’s then turned over to people who can use it to produce a successful business. Hira says, “We decided that it was about time that we took what we did, and let the world know — get out of the university, go in where the people are, and show them.”

She’s got figures that make the point. During the fiscal year that ended in June 2005 companies in the state earned about 27-point-4-Million dollars using technology licensed by Iowa, U-N-I and I-S-U, up from 21-point-4-Million in fiscal 2004 and 17-point-2-Million in fiscal 2003. She says it’s not the only measure of economic development fueled by the universities, and there are also jobs created and new licensing that yields income for the state.

She says the “Tech Transfer Road Show” will be next Wednesday in Des Moines (at the John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center) and after that will also be presented in towns around the state.