TechWorks could benefit from federal stimulus - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

TechWorks could benefit from federal stimulus

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The Cedar Valley TechWorks project could get a boost thanks to the federal economic stimulus package.

Agriculture's bio-tech field could be one area to boom when money starts to flow again.

Work is nearing completion on converting one former John Deere building in Waterloo to what supporters hope will be a world premiere research, development, and educational center for the agricultural bio-tech industry.

UNI's National Ag-Based Lubricant Center is expected to move in in late spring or early summer with labs and offices.

"While we recognize how important it is to have them here, we also understand having them here will be attractive and inspirational to other people who want to locate here to TechWorks," said TechWorks General Manager Cary Darrah.

Darrah said TechWorks could benefit from the federal stimulus package and the Obama administration's vow to go green.

"While we want to be sensitive to others in the economy and we're not out of the woods yet, TechWorks is in a good position to help provide opportunities for people in the new economy. We're green, we're shovel-ready and we'll create jobs," said Darrah.

TechWorks is a public-private partnership where bio-tech entrepreneurs, big agri-businesses and educational institutions can work togther collaboratively.

While the first tenant may move in in a few months, it's a long-term project.

"This is not a real estate deal and it's even bigger than an economic development project and so those things take longer than real estate so 3 to 5 years, we would hope this building would be full," said Darrah.

For now, the focus is on new drywall and paint and converting this floor into a workable space.

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Online Reporter:  Bob Waters

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