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IEDA announces additional $2 million in Manufacturing 4.0 Funding

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced last week that Iowa will invest an additional $2 million in the Manufacturing 4.0 Technology Investment Program.

The program helps small- to mid-size Iowa manufacturers invest in the adoption and integration of smart technologies with grant funding made available through the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

Iowa’s Manufacturing 4.0 initiative launched a strategic plan in 2021 to ensure the state’s manufacturers remain globally competitive through the fourth industrial revolution – Industry 4.0 – and its emphasis on automation and smart technology. As a result, the Manufacturing 4.0 Technology Investment Grant program was created. In the first cycle, IEDA granted over $7 million through 202 awards with project investments totaling over $31 million.

“The Manufacturing 4.0 grant program is doing exactly what we intended – helping businesses grow and compete amid a rapidly changing landscape,” said Gov. Reynolds in a news release. “Manufacturers are using these grants to increase productivity, train workers, improve safety, and cut costs. We now have the opportunity to help more manufacturers invest in technology to support their workforce, promote competition, and ensure future growth.”

The program offers two grant opportunities to prioritize both the equipment and connectivity with the advanced technology for manufacturers with 3-150 employees.

  • The manufacturing innovation equipment grant awards up to $50,000 for the purchase of machinery and specialized equipment to improve operations.
  • The manufacturing industrial internet of things (IIoT) infrastructure investment grant awards up to $25,000 for the purchase of specialized hardware or software in Industry 4.0 technology groups.

Companies can apply for a combined amount of $75,000 between the two grants over the lifetime of the business and a 1:1 match is required. Applications will open on March 1, 2023.

Previous coverage

IEDA awards $22 million in Manufacturing 4.0 funding 

IEDA announces additional $2 million in Manufacturing 4.0 Funding | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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