Building on its ongoing relationship with the Iowa State University Research Park and the university’s Center for Industrial Research and Service, Alliant Energy recently announced the creation of the Alliant Energy Agriculture Innovation Lab, a new multi-tenant collaboration space to be constructed at the research park this summer.
The initial concept discussions for the project took place in 2019, shortly after Alliant Energy announced its formal partnership with CIRAS.
According to John Larsen, board chair and CEO of Alliant Energy, the company’s $3 million investment in the project comes from a strategic projects budget funded from shareowner dollars, not customer dollars, and is intended to address a gap in central and collaborative space for ISU’s digital and precision agriculture program.
“Alliant Energy and Iowa State University Research Park’s mutual goal—to invest and innovate in the agriculture industry—will take a significant step forward in this collaborative new building,” Larsen told American Gas. “It will afford us the opportunity to create an epicenter of agricultural innovation here in the Midwest.”
The Alliant Energy Agriculture Innovation Lab will provide more than 85,000 square feet for ISU’s College of Agriculture and Life Science’s digital agriculture innovation team and give several agriculture-based business tenants access to technology, research, development and each other for innovation opportunities primarily focused on digital and precision agriculture. More than 70% of the building will feature high-bay and lab space.
According to Larsen, the ISU digital and precision agriculture program will leverage this new space to grow and become a world leader in agriculture innovation.
“Alliant Energy is proud to partner with Iowa State University and Iowa State University Research Park to advance innovative research through this forward-thinking and strategic partnership,” Larsen said. “Creating space for the emergence of cutting-edge technology and collaboration opportunities in agriculture innovation will help build stronger communities across Iowa, the Midwest and beyond.”
The Alliant Energy Agriculture Innovation Lab is expected to be completed by fall 2024.