A new white paper has found that Iowa is better positioned than many domestic competitors to capitalize on the next frontier of bioprocessing in the United States. The report, titled “Biobased Chemicals: The Iowa Opportunity,” was released by Iowa’s Cultivation Corridor and the Iowa Biotechnology Association.
The authors are Jill Euken, BEI deputy director; Dermot Hayes, a professor of economics at Iowa State University; and Brent Shanks, director of the Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC) and a Distinguished Professor of chemical and biological engineering.
The report details how statewide economic development incentives can address the unique needs of the budding industry and allow Iowa to emerge as a leader in biorenewable chemical investment and job creation in coming years. The findings of the report were released at a news conference at the Iowa State Capitol on Jan. 14, 2016. Among it’s findings:
- First generation biofuels have been important economic drivers for the state of Iowa. Ethanol production alone in Iowa accounts for $2.23 billion per year in state GDP and supports more than 8,693 jobs.
- At least five potential bio-based chemical production projects were identified through an industry interview process as part of the report. Representatives of each project indicated a biorenewable chemical production tax credit would be fundamental to the ultimate location decision in or outside Iowa.
- The U.S. market for chemicals is more than $250 billion per year.
- More than 50,000 jobs in bio-based chemicals and materials are projected to be created in the United States by 2020.
- Using income tax data, the payback period on the $61.7 million the state invested in the ethanol industry was just two years.