Iowa State University's Center for Industrial Research and Service and the Iowa Association of Business and Industry have announced a formal partnership aimed at providing more assistance to Iowa manufacturers. According to an agreement signed this week, ABI will contribute approximately $76,000 in the first half of this year as in-kind support for various conferences and forums organized by CIRAS around the state. The two organizations have worked together informally for a number of years to bring manufacturing improvements to ABI members, said Leisa Fox, ABI's senior vice president of revenue and programs. "This opportunity only extends our ability to really maximize resources for both groups," she said. The partnership will enable CIRAS to better understand what companies need for education, said Michael O'Donnell, interim director of CIRAS' Manufacturing Extension Partnership.