Corridor releases major renewable chemicals report; calls on Legislature to act

Cultivation Corridor and IowaBio make major announcement and support statewide economic development incentive

A new white paper released today has found that Iowa is better-positioned than many domestic competitors to capitalize on the next frontier of bioprocessing in the United States. The report, titled “Biobased Chemicals: The Iowa Opportunity,” was released by Iowa’s Cultivation Corridor and the Iowa Biotechnology Association. The report details how statewide economic development incentives can address the unique needs of the budding industry and allow Iowa to emerge as a leader in biorenewable chemical investment and job creation in coming years. The findings of the report were released at a news conference at the Iowa State Capitol on Thursday.

Among the report’s findings:

  • First generation biofuels have been important economic drivers for the state of Iowa. Ethanol production alone in Iowa accounts for $2.23 billion per year in state GDP and supports more than 8,693 jobs.
  • At least five potential bio-based chemical production projects were identified through an industry interview process as part of the report. Representatives of each project indicated a biorenewable chemical production tax credit would be fundamental to the ultimate location decision in or outside Iowa.
  • The U.S. market for chemicals is more than $250 billion per year
  • More than 50,000 jobs in bio-based chemicals and materials are projected to be created in the United States by 2020.
  • Using income tax data, the payback period on the $61.7 million the state invested in the ethanol industry was just two years.

“Iowa is very well-positioned to capitalize on the next frontier of bioprocessing in the United States, which will help our state economy grow, create jobs and position us as a worldwide leader,” said Brent Willett, Executive Director of the Cultivation Corridor. “We can and must capitalize on this opportunity, and we’ve got to work together to do so.”

“The opportunity exists to be even more of a leader in this space due to our ability to bring the right people to the table,” said Joe Hrdlicka, Executive Director of the Iowa Biotechnology Association. “To take the next step, we need support from our State Legislature in the form of a statewide economic development incentive tailored to address the unique needs of the burgeoning biorenewables industry.”

To view the full report and the executive summary, visit


About Iowa’s Cultivation Corridor

Focused on further developing and marketing the world-renowned bioeconomy in Central Iowa, Iowa’s Cultivation Corridor is building on a rich history of innovation to accelerate value-added agriculture business development by attracting companies, talent and capital from across the globe to the state. Representing a diverse public-private coalition of stakeholders including the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Ames Chamber of Commerce, Iowa State University, non-profits and private sector companies from across the region and state, the Cultivation Corridor is one of the nation’s foremost cluster-based economic development organizations. For more information, visit

About IowaBio

Since 1994, the Iowa Biotechnology Association has provided benefits and services to promote the interests and growth of the life sciences industries in Iowa. We are a non-profit, membership-based organization with a diversified membership including industry companies from all segments of biotechnology, universities & colleges, state & federal associations, as well as numerous service & support companies. Our Association seeks to promote the success and growth of biotech-based business in Iowa, ultimately securing our strong biotech economy while growing our business & increasing our influence nationally and around the globe. For more information, visit


Sophia S. Ahmad


Cultivation Corridor, press release, 2016-01-14.


Cultivation Corridor
Iowa Biotechnology Association (IowaBio)


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