ISU Plant Sciences Institute

Business Incubator

Business Incubator (Innovations Development Facility)

The Roy J. Carver Co-Laboratory Business Incubator is designed to promote economic development in the areas of plant science and biotechnology. The facility provides space and access to common use facilities and equipment as a means to encourage creation and development of productive commercial enterprises by university faculty, staff and students.  

Policies and Procedures 

Principles and Goals of OperationBusiness Incubator Facility
Facility Management
Term Limits
Occupancy Criteria
Services Provided
Other ISU Resources
Conflicts of Interest and Commitment
Intellectual Property
Environmental Health & Safety
Rental Rates
Common Equipment 
Floor plans

If you have questions or need additional information, contact Deanne Brill, 515-294-5255.

Principals and Goals of Operation

The Roy J. Carver Co-Laboratory Business Incubator is designed to promote economic development in the area of plant biotechnology. The incubator is housed in the Innovations Development Facility (IDF), located in the Roy J. Carver Co-Laboratory building at ISU.

Goals of the IDF:

•    To promote public university/private partnerships that lead to economic development in the area of plant biotechnology;
•    To connect university faculty, staff and students to the business community and to encourage them to develop commercial entities or transfer technology to the private sector;
•    To create opportunities for the private sector to work interactively in a university environment with faculty, staff and students; and
•    To operate in a manner that promotes the learning, discovery, and engagement missions of Iowa State University.

The IDF serves as a business incubator to encourage the creation and development of productive commercial enterprises by university faculty, staff and students.To do so, the IDF will lease laboratory and office space and provide access to common use facilities and equipment (according to individual contracts).

The IDF also encourages the research collaboration between ISU scientists and scientists from established Iowa businesses. To do so, the IDF leases facilities to commercial entities to promote the exchange and the interaction between university faculty, staff, and students, and private sector scientists. The interaction is intended to foster advances in research, to familiarize scientists in academe with industry and vice versa, and to provide unique training opportunities for students. The value proposition to PSI and ISU includes:

•    Adding to the scientific capabilities and infrastructure of plant science research at ISU.
•    Promoting closer ties and research relationships with Iowa businesses.
•    Garnering added income from licensing fees and royalties for ISU intellectual property.
•    Providing unique training opportunities for ISU postdocs and/or students.
•    Providing successful business models for IDF startup companies.

Facilities Management

Contact Information:

Deanne Brill, Business Manager, Plant Sciences Institute
1069 Roy J. Carver Co-Laboratory
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-3650
Phone: 515-294-5255
Fax: 515-294-4654

Term Limits

The typical rental period for space in the IDF is 2-4 years, with the flexibility to extend that time period if negotiations are underway with the ISU Research Park to locate space for the company.

Occupancy Criteria

Prospective occupants must have and maintain at least one of the following relationships with ISU (preference will be given to occupants that possess these criteria in this order, with #1 being the highest preference):

  1. One or more of the principals in the business are currently an ISU faculty, staff or student, preferably in the research area of plant biotechnology.
  2. The business was conceived by, developed by, or substantially involves ISU faculty, staff or students.
  3. The business has intellectual property optioned or licensed from the ISU Research Foundation, Inc. (ISURF).
  4. The business is contracting with ISU, under a research agreement, for substantial technical or business services provided or supervised by a current ISU faculty member, preferably in the area of plant biotechnology research.
  5. One or more of the principals of the business( if not ISU faculty, staff or student) must be working in collaboration with an ISU faculty member, preferably in the area of plant biotechnology research.

The IDF is for companies in the start-up phase of development, and the primary location for the business is in the Roy J. Carver Co-Laboratory.

Prospective start-up businesses that are interested in locating at IDF will fill out an Application Form (see Appendix D).  The form requests company information (if the company is incorporated), a summary of the research project, key personnel that will be working in IDF, relevant intellectual property, and ties to ISU (past or anticipated). The PSI Director will consider applicant based on their expected contributions to the value proposition for PSI and ISU. Criteria include, but are not limited to:

•    Adding to the scientific capabilities and infrastructure in Iowa in the area of plant biotechnology.
•    Training opportunities for ISU postdocs and/or students.
•    Prospect for success in becoming an Iowa business and for employing Iowans.
•    Up-front and/or anticipated income from licensing fees and royalties for ISU intellectual property.
•    Potential to obtain research grants and contracts from various governmental agencies or organizations that support technology transfer activities.

Services Provided

•    Office and lab space
•    Receptionist support
•    Telecommunication services, computer LAN, and Ethernet access
•    Meeting and conference room accommodations
•    Copy and FAX machine access (a small fee per copy will be charged)
•    Library services
•    Parking privileges - access to ISU students and supervisors for approved project work
•    Access to ISU facilities and departments:

  1. Chemistry Stores
  2. Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S)
  3. Facilities Planning and Management (FPM)
  4. Office for Responsible Research (ORR)
  5. Service Facilities for Research in Biotechnology

Other ISU Resources

Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship
Small Business Development Center
Iowa State University Research Foundation, Inc. (ISURF) and Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer (OIPTT)
Institute for Physical Research and Technology (IPRT)
Office of Sponsored Programs Administration (OSPA)

ISU Research Park

Conflict of Interest and Commitment

As a land-grant institution with a strategic plan focused on learning, discovery and engagement, ISU employees traditionally interact with individuals outside the university.
ISU is committed to ensuring all appropriate parties are fully aware of any conflicts that may influence collaborative efforts.

ISU faculty and staff members and other occupants of the IDF will abide by the ISU Policy on Conflicts of Interest and Commitment.

Intellectual Property

Iowa State University employees are governed by university policies on intellectual property established by the Board of Regents,State of Iowa, ISU, and the Iowa State University Research Foundation, Inc. (ISURF).  Any agreement that involves interaction with an ISU employee (faculty, staff, graduate assistants, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scholars and scientists) will require that the employee abide by all university policies concerning intellectual property.

The Iowa State University Research Foundation, Inc. owns and manages intellectual property for ISU.  Intellectual property is assigned to ISURF, according to university policies, by inventors or creators who are employees or students of the university.  In some cases collaborative projects result in intellectual property that may be jointly invented with employees of another institution or company.  ISURF will work with the other institution or company to prepare appropriate agreements to address issues of marketing, patenting, licensing and division of royalties.

Environmental Health & Safety

It is the policy of Iowa State University to provide and ensure a safe and healthy environment for employees, students, and visiting public, and to maintain at all times an effective safety program.

Each person in a supervisory or management capacity is responsible for the provision and maintenance of safe working conditions in his or her respective area, and for proper enforcement of all authorized and applicable safety rules and regulations. Each person is also personally responsible for complying with safety rules and for using any safety equipment which is provided or required. All safety hazards, accidents, and failures to comply with safety rules shall be reported to supervisory personnel and referred to the appropriate health and safety organization if additional action is necessary. It is the intent of this policy to prevent accidents and injuries and to help each member of the ISU community maintain a high standard of safety and health. 

ISU Safety & Health Policies
Hazardous waste and chemical removal services
EH&S Learning Center (sign up for training courses)
For additional safety and health information, visit the EH&S website.

Rental Rates

The rental rate is $24 per square foot, as shown below:

First Floor Sq. Ft. Per Month Per Year
Room 1024 (lab) 185 $370 $4,440
Room 1026 (lab) 185 $370 $4,440
Room 1028  (lab) 185 $370 $4,440
Room 1030 (lab) 185 $370 $4,440
Second Floor      
Room 2048 (lab) 185 $370 $4,440
Room 2052 (lab) 380 $760 $9,120
Room 2073 (office) 135 $270 $3,240
Room 2077 (office) 135 $270 $3,240
Room 2079 (office) 135 $270 $3,240

 Common Equipment 

Item Room
Gel imager (Alphaimager 3400) 1046
Fluorescence plate reader (Bio-Tek) 1032
Transfer Hood (NuAire) 1032
30º incubator (Fisher Scientific) 1049
37º incubator (Fisher Scientific) 1049
30º shaker (New Brunswick) 1046
37º shaker (New Brunswick) 1046
E. coli electroporator (Bio Rad pulser) 1049
Electroporator for plant & animal cells 1032
Refrigerated centrifuge (Sorvall RC5-B) 1049
Table top centrifuge (Beckman TJ-6) 1049
Speed Vac (Savant) 1046
Spectrophotometer (Beckman DU-7) 1032
Spectrophotometer (Eppendorf Biophotometer) 1025
Dishwashers 0028
Autoclaves 0029
Dishwashers 2032
Autoclaves 2032
Baking oven 2032
Millipore system 2032
Scintillation counter (Beckman) 1012
Thermocycler (MJ PTC-200 DNA Engine) 1012

Fee for service facilities:

Plant growth chamber space - $2.00/day
Greenhouse space - contact Pete Lelonek for pricing


Plant Science Institute, 1060 Roy J. Carver Co-Laboratory, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-3650, (515) 294-5255, | Copyright
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