• [ February 23, 2015 ]
  • Iowa Energy Center’s Role in Economic Development


The recently released 2014 Battelle Report has highlighted ways Iowa can improve its economic performance. It outlines opportunities and challenges for Iowa’s economic growth, while giving recommendations for improvement.

The Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress (IPEP) advisory board initiated the 2014 Battelle Report to set a strategic direction for economic development in Iowa. The analysis was shaped in the past 18 months as Battelle worked with the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and other economic development organizations.

The Iowa Energy Center has a role to play in the economic growth of the state. Mark C. Petri , director of the Iowa Energy Center said, “The Energy Center is an important component in creating a robust economic development ecosystem in Iowa in the energy field that includes student education, applied research, technology development, workforce development, and community development. We partner with other state resources in all these areas to create an engine for economic growth for Iowa.”

The Energy Center is targeting four pillars of economic development: innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization, workforce development, and an educated citizenry. Here are some of the ways the Energy Center’s four program areas are helping Iowa economic development:


The Iowa Energy Center is providing infrastructure through its Biomass Energy Conversion facility to scale laboratory and start-up company technologies to attract industry investment. Moreover, the Energy Center is actively seeking funding opportunities for Iowa and facilitating partnerships to capture new investment in the state.

Renewable Energy

The Energy Center is building relationships with federal sponsors to promote Iowa renewable energy innovation. This is spurred through its grant programs that help Iowa colleges, universities, and nonprofits secure sustainable funding from federal agencies and other external sources.

Energy Efficiency

The Energy Center is providing a platform through its Energy Resource Station for testing new commercial building energy efficiency technologies and hosting training sessions for energy efficiency workforce development. The Energy Center is partnering with the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) to provide web-based tools to prioritize and plan retrofits to improve building efficiency.

Education and Outreach

The Energy Center provides reliable, objective information on energy and efficiency to create a more educated citizenry, and is collaborating with Iowa community colleges on new initiatives to train instructors on energy curricula and create on-line, energy-related courses that can be shared statewide. The Energy Center is also partnering with Iowa Area Education Agencies and the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council on new initiatives to provide statewide K-12 energy education opportunities.

The Battelle Report has identified both strengths and weaknesses that will influence the continued growth of Iowa’s economy. The report has become the basis for discussion among the public and private sectors of Iowa in developing a strategy for an improved economy. The Iowa Energy Center, too, is using the report to ensure that its initiatives have the greatest impact on Iowa economic growth.

To Learn More


The Iowa Energy Center has been actively serving Iowans since 1990. We support economic growth through collaborative projects that bring smart and sustainable energy technologies closer to market and by providing Iowans with reliable, objective information on energy and efficiency options.

We are your resource for relevant energy news and updates , upcoming events , competitive grants , and funding opportunities.


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