New Normal: Dickson Industries Growing with Gowns

A Des Moines company with an eight-decade history of working with fabrics in the food and medical industries is returning to its roots following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Founded in 1946, Dickson Industries made its name making medical fabrics and garments before venturing into various lines of food-industry clothing and preconsumer products, such as specialized netting used to enhance the flavor of meat during smoking. When the coronavirus decimated demand for food-industry products, Dickson officials realized that they were ideally situated to help fill part of Iowa’s need for personal protective equipment (PPE).

Ag Leader Seeks CIRAS to Help New Ideas Grow

The best part about the CIRAS innovation process, Mike Myers believes, is that it makes it easier for his company to quickly find the ideas that help customers most.

Myers is marketing development manager at Ag Leader Technology, an Ames company created 28 years ago to help farmers better monitor their fields. Today, precision agriculture is a wide-ranging industry with competition fueled by venture capitalists and start-ups looking to profit from helping farmers manage data.

Now, more than ever, Ag Leader needs to be focused on the right ideas.

Scanner Helps Improve Firefighting Tools

A Nevada, Iowa, maker of firefighter hand tools is growing in stature after CIRAS helped the company modernize and improve the designs for its tools.

Fred Malven, a longtime volunteer firefighter, founded Malven Fire Tool Works four years ago when he retired as an associate professor in Iowa State University’s College of Design.

Pandemic Prompts Collaboration Among Iowa Manufacturers

The call came toward the end of March. The state of Iowa was projecting that it would come up at least 500,000 face shields short of what was needed to provide front-line medical workers with personal protective equipment in the battle against COVID-19.

Would Adam Gold be willing to help?

Gold, president of The Dimensional Group, a Mason City custom packaging company, soon found himself in a flurry of CIRAS-arranged calls, emails, and meetings. A plan quickly formed to pair Gold’s company, which had no previous experience producing medical equipment, with Ottumwa-based Angstrom Precision Molding. Within two months, the team would produce more than 1.3 million medical face shields.

CIRAS Survey UPDATE: Business Impacts of COVID-19

August 7, 2020 — (Update 20) As COVID-19 proliferates across our nation, the crisis continues to negatively impact our economy and spark concerns for the future of small and medium-sized businesses. CIRAS has been conducting a phone survey so we can better understand the needs of Iowa companies and better connect them to appropriate resources. Here is what … Continue reading CIRAS Survey UPDATE: Business Impacts of COVID-19

Did You Know?…Cities Can Be a Good GovCon Start

Have you considered doing business or expanding your current business with the local government?

Municipalities (aka city governments) are often overlooked by companies considering government contracting. But many times, this is where the opportunity lies for contractors that target a specific geographic area, such as state, city, and county parameters.

CIRAS Survey UPDATE: Business Impacts of COVID-19

July 31, 2020 — (Update 19) As COVID-19 proliferates across our nation, the crisis continues to negatively impact our economy and spark concerns for the future of small and medium-sized businesses. CIRAS has been conducting a phone survey so we can better understand the needs of Iowa companies and better connect them to appropriate resources.

Here is what we’ve learned so far:

CIRAS Will Stay with Online Events in 2020

See you (in person) next year.

As a response to COVID-19 and the still-spreading pandemic, CIRAS has decided to cancel all in-person events through the remainder of 2020. We simply don’t believe it’s practical to schedule face-to-face events in the current environment.

However, that doesn’t mean we intend to stop educating Iowa businesses.

Sponsorships Now Available for ILC Virtual Annual Conference

Notice: Here is a perfect opportunity to get your organization’s name and logo in front of hundreds of Lean practitioners.

The Iowa Lean Consortium is searching for companies to sponsor this fall’s Virtual Annual Conference. This is a great opportunity to place your brand in front of continuous improvement professionals who are dedicated to building Lean cultures in their organizations.

Iowa State’s ABE Department to Host Virtual Tour

Iowa State University’s Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering is hosting a virtual open house on Wednesday, August 5, so interested companies can learn more about the technology available on campus.

Interested businesses can participate in three 40-minute sessions covering Industrial Technology, Ag Engineering and Ag Systems Technology, and Biosystems Engineering.