Debi Durham and Governor Kim Reynolds.

A new report is calling for creation of an Iowa Bioscience Development Center, to boost businesses that make things medical devices, vaccines, chemicals and “precision agriculture” software.

Governor Kim Reynolds today said Iowa’s workforce has 36 percent more employees working in the “biosciences” compared to the national average.

“These are also good-paying jobs with salaries averaging just under $68,000,” Reynolds said, “and the bottom line, really, is the biosciences are critical to Iowa’s current and future economic success.”

The Iowa Economic Development Authority hired a private firm to evaluate the state’s bioscience industries. The report suggests the state should promote capital investment and establish a center somewhere to promote bioscience research and businesses engaged in biology-based product development. Iowa Economic Development Authority director Debi Durham suggests the center will be a collaboration among already-existing programs.

“We’re actually going to be going through a deep assessment not only at the universities and with the Board of Regents, but within our organization, of how we re-utilize assets that we aleady have,” Durham said today. “…There’s not going to be a financial ask for the legislature this year.”

Durham and Reynolds spoke during a news conference at DuPont Pioneer in Johnston.