Ben Drescher has joined CIRAS as a Food and Feed Quality and Safety project manager. Ben holds a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education from Iowa State University and a Master of Sciences in Agricultural Science from Murry State University. Before joining CIRAS, Ben spent nine years as the Animal Science Farms Director at Iowa … Continue reading CIRAS Staff News: Meet Ben Drescher
We are often asked to help a company understand what their contract compliance requirements are regarding cybersecurity in federal contracting. One way to understand those requirements is to look at your contract or solicitation and identify what cyber clauses are included. Below is a quick guide to identifying those clauses and understanding what obligations they … Continue reading DYK: Cybersecurity Contract Clauses Explained
AMES, IA— The Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) at Iowa State University has announced the appointment of Mike O’Donnell as its director, effective June 16. With a distinguished background in manufacturing and engineering, O’Donnell brings a wealth of knowledge and exemplary leadership experience to this position. O’Donnell’s professional journey encompasses over two decades in … Continue reading New Director Named for the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University
Q: Tell me about your role at CIRAS and they type clients you work with? A: I lead our automation team of four, which includes myself, Eric Higgins, Kirk Haaland, and Ty Hill. We generally work with manufacturers, helping them understand what’s possible with automation and helping them prioritize and justify specific automation opportunities. We … Continue reading Q & A With CIRAS Automation Leader, Andrew Friend
This blog is part of a series for Women’s History Month to highlight women who are making an impact on the manufacturing industry. Tell us a little about yourself and your work. Hello, My name is Brenda (Vande Voort) Martin. I’m employed with the Iowa MEP (CIRAS) at Iowa State University of Science and Technology in Ames, … Continue reading Brenda Martin: Create a vision of what an industry’s future could become with you involved.
Using Career Fairs to Engage Future Workers Iowa State career fairs are an excellent way for employers to meet, interview, and interact with students to grow an educated and well-rounded workforce. In-person fairs occur each semester and offer employers the opportunity to fill interview schedules, network with students and increase name recognition. The College of … Continue reading Employers Find Workforce Success through Student Opportunities
An international construction company is partnering with CIRAS to increase the participation of underrepresented contractors on its projects. Turner Construction, the largest domestic contractor in the U.S., and the CIRAS Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) are offering a free five-week program designed to enhance the ability of Underrepresented Business Enterprises (UBEs) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises … Continue reading 1st Annual Construction Diversity Accelerator – Hosted by Turner Construction & CIRAS
Here is CIRAS’s quick look at major economic indicators for Iowa. For an introduction and a description of the indicators used, see our first post. Indicator Status Underlying Data Notes ISM Manufacturing PMI® Indicators were mixed, all remaining close to neutral. Mid-American Index Prices continued sharp increases along with strong growth in new orders in … Continue reading Watching Iowa’s Economy – November
Iowa manufacturers are turning to CIRAS with questions on how to maintain productivity and profitability when workforce is in short supply. Depending on the application, the answer can be automation or using robotics instead of humans to perform tasks like machine-tending. “Machinists are high-skilled employees, but some of the tasks they perform do not require … Continue reading Using Automation to Bridge Labor Gap
A new cybersecurity risk with direct impacts on most manufacturers has recently been discovered. The Department of Energy (DOE), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a joint Cybersecurity Advisory (CSA) on Wednesday. The CSA warns that specific advanced persistent threat (APT) actors have … Continue reading NEW Cyber Threat Hacking Industrial Control Systems: Take Action Today to Protect Your Business
Innovation At Work is a series of stories, photos, videos and audio highlighting the new approaches Iowa State University is taking to big challenges that affect Iowa’s communities and landscape. A new entry in the series will be published every Tuesday between April 5 and May 3. To learn more about the impact CIRAS and … Continue reading Innovation at Work: Strengthening Iowa Communities
By Kelly Freel Many cities, counties, and state agencies have been using or will be implementing electronic bidding software to help streamline their bid process. Electronic bidding has many advantages for agencies and for bidders: Time and Stamp. When you log in and view the bid opportunity, it provides a time and date stamp … Continue reading Did You Know? More and More Agencies are Using Electronic Bidding Software
A CIRAS government contracting specialist will soon have an expanded role. Samantha Ferm will take over the territory covered by Melissa Burant, a counselor in the CIRAS Procurement and Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) since 2014, is transitioning into a new position leading strategic supply chain initiatives. Ferm has been with CIRAS as a PTAC counselor … Continue reading PTAC Counselor Expands Territory Southeast Iowa
After eight years, Carey Novak has retired from CIRAS as a project manager, where his work focused on serving Iowa State University’s College of Engineering Capstone program. Carey came to Iowa State from Bradly University, and has previous experience at Iowa State supporting companies with technology transfer. Throughout his career, Carey’s work has been beneficial … Continue reading Retirement of Capstone Project Manager, Carey Novak
CIRAS hosts many training events each year on a variety of government contracting topics. We bring in government contracting experts such as attorneys, accountants, federal agencies, and other consultants so you can learn from the best. We realize that you are not always able to attend our webinars live or that a topic may not … Continue reading Government Contracting Training Videos Now Available on CIRAS Online Resource Library
What do the best places to work have in common? Five companies recognized as being among the best employers in Iowa credit their adoption of Lean with helping them create a culture where workers simply love to work. The Iowa Lean Consortium (ILC) gathered the five companies together for an online event earlier this year. … Continue reading Lean Culture Helped These Companies become Best Places to Work
Jennifer Garcia-Velazquez has joined CIRAS as a full-time events coordinator. Jennifer, who received her bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Science from Iowa State University, previously worked for Science Bound, Iowa’s State University’s pre-college through college program to empower Iowa students of color to pursue degrees and careers in ASTEM (agriculture, science technology, engineering and mathematics) fields … Continue reading CIRAS Staff News: Meet Jennifer Garcia-Velazquez
Did you know that the Rock Island Arsenal (RIA), which is an actual island situated between Iowa and Illinois on the Mississippi River, houses more than one major Army command and over 60 tenant organizations, both public and private entities? The five major Army organizations on the island each have different and unique buying needs: … Continue reading Did You Know? Rock Island Arsenal Overview
A Muscatine solid-waste treatment facility is building what it hopes will become a major biogas production plant after Iowa State University helped the city discover its best formula for using food waste to produce methane.
Jon Koch, director of the city of Muscatine’s Water and Resource Recovery Facility, said his agency recently completed the first two-year, $4 million phase of developing Muscatine Area Resource Recovery for Vehicles and Energy (MARRVE). The effort has turned a former recycling center into a hub for food manufacturers around the Midwest to drop off food waste for treatment by Muscatine’s anaerobic digesters.
The goal eventually is to handle enough food waste—and produce enough biogas from that process—to generate and sell the equivalent of 1,000 gallons of vehicle fuel per day.
Registration is now open for the Iowa State University’s first virtual Business Analytics Symposium, hosted by the Ivy College of Business.
Now in its fifth year, the April 6 symposium will feature a new format – four influential keynote speakers over two half-day sessions, with one breakout session each day.
Federal agencies buy a wide variety of products and services, but they’re required to try to purchase through specific sources before ordering from the open market.
For this month’s “Did You Know?” article, we’ll take a closer look at one of these mandatory sources: The AbilityOne Program. We’ll learn more about AbilityOne, including what products and services it makes available to agencies, what ways businesses can support its mission, and how businesses can benefit from the program.
Do you have specific, industry-related COVID-19 questions you’d like to have answered? Would you simply like to chat with others who are struggling to adapt to a global pandemic? CIRAS is hosting twice-weekly online roundtables to share the latest coronavirus response information. Our experts will walk you through an overview of what we know about … Continue reading Twice-Weekly Roundtables Help You Talk Through COVID-19
CIRAS exists to improve Iowa businesses by helping them identify research-proven best practices. Following are a collection of tips and links designed to point your company to the best possible information for navigating the current pandemic. For more, visit our site at www.ciras.iastate.edu/covid-19/.
For Steve Cochren, it amounts to sustenance—and it arrives at about the same time.
“I read my BidMatch every day at lunch,” said Cochren, who works in sales at Triplett Office Essentials in Urbandale. “It makes me aware of opportunities that I may not have been aware of before.”
BidMatch, a software service that’s available to all active clients of the CIRAS Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), scours government databases to deliver a list of government procurement opportunities tailored to what an individual client sells.
Michael Nunn hasn’t yet found the product improvement idea he was searching for, but at least he now knows that he’s on the correct path.
Nunn is the owner of Birmingham Manufacturing, a four-person shop in Birmingham, Iowa, that makes condensated evaporating pans for use in commercial coolers. The pans, which contain a heating element and sit below refrigeration units, work to evaporate the water that drips from inside coolers.
[ONE OF CIRAS’ REGULAR LOOKS AT A SECTOR OF THE IOWA ECONOMY. (By Liesl Eathington)]
One of CIRAS’ points of pride is our outstanding network of partners. We believe they are critical to the health of businesses in Iowa, and we just don’t talk about them often enough. So, today we’re launching a new regular feature to help showcase our great partners and the amazing things they do.
Shelly Vanyo smiled happily as her science and engineering students milled around a Boone High School classroom ogling various tiny machine parts made inside a metal 3D printer at Iowa State University.
Mission accomplished. They students were excited, and their teacher was pleased.
AMES – Iowans once again will have easy access this October to a broad spectrum of educational events aimed at promoting the benefits of a career in manufacturing.
Friday, October 7, has been designated as national Manufacturing Day – a time for U.S. factories to open their doors and show the public that manufacturing has become a clean, high-technology industry packed with fulfilling opportunities.
For Iowans, however, the celebrations, plant tours and seminars will stretch well beyond a single day – into an entire month.
Roughly one-third of Iowa’s counties were under a flood watch or warning on Friday morning after massive rainfalls throughout the state – in some areas, up to 9 inches – send rivers higher. More rain is expected throughout the weekend, posing a significant and imminent flooding threat for many Iowa businesses.
CIRAS believes that any company who does not have a flood plan already in place should immediately begin making preparations for trouble.
A new series of BizWise regional peer forums is launching this year as part of an ongoing effort by CIRAS and the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) to help Iowa business professionals stay ahead of the curve and perform at their peak.
DES MOINES – The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) agreed this morning to contribute $100,000 toward the purchase of a metal 3-D printer that will be used to help CIRAS educate businesses across Iowa on the latest capabilities of additive manufacturing, to help train the next generation of workers in this poised-to-explode technology and to support new faculty research.
The IEDA contribution joins other federal and Iowa State University funding that will be used to purchase a direct metal sintering system, part of a $900,000 investment in this technology. The machine, which now will be ordered from its manufacturer, is expected to be up and running in an Iowa State University lab within months for the benefit of Iowa businesses.
DUBUQUE– Northeast Iowa businesses should now find it easier to get what they need to grow.
Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) and Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) have announced a partnership to provide a single point of contact for businesses seeking help in that region. As part of this agreement, Seth Gilbert, J.D., has been named the NICC/CIRAS Account Manager for the Dubuque area and will be charged with helping businesses find the programs and support services they need in either or both entities.
Paul’s mission in life (at least partly) is to help you understand the Internet and how it can help your business.
Iowa machinery manufacturers have seen their share of U.S. machinery exports more than double since 2000, according to a CIRAS analysis of U.S. industry statistics. Now, manufacturers need to figure out how to build on that gain.
A CIRAS analysis, completed by Iowa State University economist Liesl Eathington for an April 2 summit on the state of machinery production in Iowa, shows that Iowans have a competitive advantage over the rest of the nation—especially when it comes to making agricultural and construction equipment.
If you’re reading this, you’ve found CIRAS Newswire, the “publishing” arm of Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service.