The Iowa State University Research Park got a $12 million boost yesterday with Gov. Terry Branstad's signature on an appropriations bill that will fund a new building at the complex.


The new facility will house services and agencies that currently are scattered across the Iowa State campus. These include the Small Business Development Center, the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship, the Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer and the Iowa State University Research Foundation, among others.


The research park is located south of the Iowa State campus, adjacent to U.S. Highway 30.


"Iowa State is grateful to the Iowa Legislature and Gov. Branstad for providing the resources to make this expansion possible," ISU President Steven Leath said in a release. "This is a significant investment for the park and for economic development in Iowa. This action by our elected leaders demonstrates their confidence in the role and reputation of the ISU Research Park."


One of Leath's announced goals last year was to double the size of the research park, which currently has 57 tenants and 1,200 employees situated on 230 acres. Construction of the new building is expected to be completed within the next three years.


Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, said the research park and Iowa State are key partners in development of the Capital Corridor, an envisioned biotechnology corridor between Ames and Des Moines set forth as part of the Capital Crossroads regional plan. The Capital Corridor committee is scheduled to meet on Monday to further outline plans for the biotechnology corridor.


"The research park is a tremendous economic development asset that spurs innovation and generates jobs for the region, and this new strategic state investment is a huge win for the research park and the corridor," Byers said.