The Iowa Economic Development Authority board has approved financial assistance and tax benefits for four projects that are generating more than $157 million in new capital investment.
The projects undertaken by the four companies are expected to create 156 new jobs and will help retain 89 existing jobs in Iowa.
One of the projects is a biotech facility in Keokuk, IA by VAMA, which develops highly targeted natural solutions for insect control that are safe for humans and other animals.
The company recently came up with a natural, non-toxic and bio-degradable solution to combat parasitic mites called Varroa that are attacking and decimating bee populations, and is now planning to establish a facility in Keokuk to make and sell this product.
VAMA, Inc. will be investing $408,000 into this project, and expects to create 45 jobs. The IEDA board has approved tax incentives for the project under the Targeted Jobs Withholding Tax Credit program.
Another big project receiving state incentives is an expansion by Swiss Valley Farms Cooperative in Luana, IA. Swiss Valley Farms is a four-state cooperative owned by its 626 dairy producers. They are investing $20.6 million into the expansion project in Luana, and will be creating 10 new jobs and retain 89 existing jobs.
The Swiss Valley Farms project has been awarded $465,000 in direct financial assistance, as well as tax benefits through the High Quality Jobs Program.
Custom logistics solutions provider XTL, Inc. is likewise making a big capital investment of $62 million for acquiring a site in Council Bluffs, IA. The company is creating 50 new jobs, and has been awarded tax benefits under the HQJP program.
The biggest investment of the lot is being made by the Monsanto Company, which is proposing a $73.9 million capital investment for expanding and improving operations at its crop plant in Muscatine, IA. The company expects to create 51 new jobs, and has been awarded tax incentives through the High Quality Jobs Program.
Apart from these four projects, the board of the Iowa Economic Development Authority also announced approval of innovation funding for a slew of startups.
West Des Moines-based DataYield is developing a cloud-based SaaS offering that allows agricultural support providers to effectively communicate with farmers who are their customers. DataYield is getting a $100,000 loan through the Iowa Demonstration Fund.
Terra Biologics, a St. Louis, MO-based startup that is relocating to Coralville, IA, has likewise been awarded a $100,000 loan to fund their research and development. Terra Biologics is in the process of commercializing a process to increase agricultural productivity with the help of micro-organisms called blue-green algae.
Clarksville, IA-based Crossroads Manufacturing, which has developed a solar-powered worksite monitoring tool, is getting a $25,000 grant from the Demonstration Fund.
Another Coralville-based company called InnoBioPharma, LLC was awarded a $100,000 loan from the Demonstration Fund, as was Batavia-based MyMedScore (dba Punctil Health). Iowa City-based software development company Mazira, LLC received a $25,000 grant.