Alliant Energy helps Iowa manufacturers implement new technology and increase production

Grant establishes ISU Digital Manufacturing Lab powered by Alliant Energy

Ames, Iowa – February 18, 2019 – Many companies are hesitant to embrace new business methods and technologies that could improve and expand their business. The new ISU Digital Manufacturing Lab powered by Alliant Energy will provide Iowa manufacturers a place to experiment with new approaches in a risk-free setting.

A grant from Alliant Energy will fund the efforts conducted by Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS). CIRAS will open the new lab this summer in the ISU Research Park. Alliant Energy will use the space to provide advice and counsel to businesses, while also collaborating with ISU faculty and students on research opportunities and internships.

“Affordability and success go hand-in-hand,” says Terry Kouba, president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa energy company. “When our industrial and commercial customers are more successful, it gives us greater flexibility to control costs for all of our customers.”

“The next new idea or machine could hold the key to success that a growing company needs,” says Joel Schmidt, vice president of business development for Alliant Energy. “This lab provides the perfect opportunity to refine a new approach before it is introduced into the workplace.”

“This is what CIRAS does,” says Mike O’Donnell, director of the CIRAS Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program. “We are going to be an unbiased source to help manufacturers identify the right technology for them at the right time.”

Alliant Energy’s grant is the largest private gift to CIRAS in the center’s 55-year history. A sizeable contribution from the Iowa Economic Development Authority will help with purchasing equipment and covering remodeling expenses.