2023: Patents, Inventions and Discoveries

Discovery is both a process and an outcome. The process happens every day at Iowa State, leading to outcomes with the potential to change the world. The university has a strong history of creating new technologies and inventions that impact our daily lives.

This 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.

    A team effort

    Innovation is a collaborative process, which is why Iowa State has built an ecosystem of support and resources to develop ideas into new products or technologies.

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  • Researchers examine egg embroyos in a lab.

    Sustainable solutions for safer food, cleaner water

    Scientists are working to boost chicken gut health to help reduce salmonella infections in poultry and people. Others are honing faster, cheaper methods for detecting foodborne pathogens and harnessing algae to treat wastewater.

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  • A researcher works on lab equipment.

    Better batteries

    Steve Martin has dedicated nearly four decades of study, about 60 graduate theses, 46 lab notebooks and eight patents to the mission of inventing better batteries.

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

    Optimizing tech for housing and construction

    Iowa State researchers are inventing and perfecting new applications for innovative technology such as robotics and digital simulation that could have huge impacts on how homes are built and maintained.

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  • A researcher places circuit boards into lab machinery.

    Smarter farming with better data

    Precision and digital agriculture technologies developed at Iowa State give farmers the insight and tools to make better decisions, benefitting their profit margins and water and soil quality.

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  • Pete Evans works with a 3D construction printer.

    By the Numbers: Innovation Impact

    Innovation at Iowa State is measured by new startups, patents and economic growth, and the impact extends far beyond campus and the state.

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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 this 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.