CIRAS Marks 60 Years of Service

This year the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) celebrates its 60th anniversary. The Board of Regents and Iowa legislature established CIRAS in 1963 to counsel industry on special problems, advise on appropriate procedures for growth, and conduct research and testing programs where necessary. In the last 10 years alone, CIRAS has had a cumulative impact of more than $6.4 billion with more than 66,000 jobs added or retained as a result of the assistance companies have received from the center.

“We are proud of our legacy in helping Iowa industry, and we look forward to many more years of service,” said newly named CIRAS director Mike O’Donnell. “Industry leaders face a world of rapidly changing technologies, geopolitical shifts, and workforce challenges. We will continue to evolve and help with strategies to solve these complex problems.”

CIRAS 60th Logo

Early CIRAS programs provided technical aid in the areas of industrial administration, agricultural engineering, the dairy industry, and industrial education. That has been expanded to include wide-ranging services in five important categories: growth, leadership, productivity, technology, and workforce.

O’Donnell listed several priorities for CIRAS over the next five years: (1) Simplify access to CIRAS
experts and partners; (2) create cross-functional solutions that pair growth and technology; (3) increase engagement with students to enhance their experience and create a potential talent pool for employers; and (4) expand emphasis on the future of industry.

“I encourage businesses to reach out to me or anyone on the CIRAS team to let us know how we can continue to make Iowa a great place for industry,” O’Donnell said.

While CIRAS has changed considerably over the years, the foundation remains: we listen to Iowa industry to understand issues facing companies, provide technical and managerial assistance to help solve those issues, and support you to ensure long-term success.