2024: Economic Development and Impact

The innovation that occurs every day at Iowa State University leads to countless opportunities for entrepreneurship and collaboration with industry. From taking leaps forward in research and development to educating the next wave of great entrepreneurial minds, Iowa State University is an economic engine that powers development and job growth across the globe.

The 2024 Innovation at Work series details how Iowa State strengthens existing businesses across the state, incubates groundbreaking startups, meets Iowa’s workforce needs and supports animal agriculture through state-of-the-art veterinary expertise and facilities. This adds up to billions of dollars in economic development made possible by Iowa State University’s culture of innovation.

2023: Patents, Inventions and Discoveries

The 2023 series of stories takes you inside the process where innovation is at work and Iowa State researchers are making groundbreaking discoveries to protect our food supply, create more efficient electric batteries, improve vaccines, change the future of home construction and help farmers use data to make better decisions.

  • Closeup of a researcher working on lab fluids in an incubator.

    Culture of collaboration fosters big ideas, new technologies, impactful solutions

    Nanovaccine Institute

  • Researchers examine egg embroyos in a lab.

    Sustainable solutions for safer food, cleaner water

    Collaborative research teams

  • A researcher works on lab equipment.

    Better batteries

    Steve Martin

  • Overhead shot of three people using a 3D printer in a lab.

    Optimizing tech for housing and construction

    3D Affordable Innovative Technologies Housing Project

  • A researcher places circuit boards into lab machinery.

    Smarter farming with better data

    Precision and digital agriculture

  • Pete Evans works with a 3D construction printer.

    By the Numbers: Innovation Impact

    External support for innovative research solutions

2022: Strengthening Iowa Communities

Innovation is the cornerstone of Iowa State University's culture. Faculty, scientists and students are conducting groundbreaking work that improves the quality of life in every corner of the state and beyond. Each story in the inaugural series highlights the collaboration and creativity that fuel the drive to find solutions to big challenges. From strengthening mental health to beautifying Iowa communities, to finding new markets for next-generation agricultural products, Iowa State is making a difference. This collection of words, photos and video showcases Iowa State's Innovation at Work.

  • Tannon Daugaard, an engineer at the Bioeconomy Institute, with the pilot-scale pyrolyzer at the Biorenewables Center.

    Breaking ground on next-generation agricultural markets

    Bieconomy Institute and BioCentury Research Farm

  • Jennifer Drinkwater, associate professor of art and visual culture and community arts specialist for ISU Extension and Outreach, paints in her studio in downtown Ames.

    Unconventional methods help boost rural quality of life

    Rural Shrink Smart Project

  • Jennifer Knox displays the variety of Saltlickers seasoning blends that she creates. Photo by Christopher Gannon

    Providing guidance for retail and small businesses

    Small Business Development Center and Center for Industrial Research

  • ISU Extension and Outreach Rising Star interns Tatum Kahler and Maelyn Thome working in a garden with rural Iowa youth.

    By the Numbers: Fostering Economic Growth

    Economic development programs, services and initiatives

  • Hongwei Zhang poses outside with a broadband antennae

    Building a Broadband Prairie by Expanding Rural Wireless

    ARA Wireless Living Lab and Center for Wireless, Communities and Innovation

  • Student consultants pose with the Iowa letter sculpture in Manning.

    Taking the Classroom to Main Street

    Retail Ready Challenge

Innovate at Iowa State

Learn more about how Iowa State uses a culture of innovation that helps turn ideas into action.