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CEDAR FALLS — The University of Northern Iowa Business & Community Services is a grant recipient under the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s 2018 University Center Economic Development Program Competition. The grant will fund UNI’s University Center over the next five years.

The UNI UC will service Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Chickasaw and Grundy counties. The grant will foster Business Retention and Expansion through Innovation strategies designed to foster innovation, technology utilization, research and development within targeted businesses. The UNI UC will assemble an Intrapreneurship Resource Network of university and community college service providers.

The UC will work with the region’s local economic developers to design and incorporate new business discovery processes and protocols into traditional business retention and expansion efforts. To cultivate innovation, the UC will assemble the IRN, a region-wide team of service providers, prototyping labs, faculty and students with resources and skills in the areas of management, business development, financing, succession, marketing, additive/subtractive manufacturing, manufacturing engineering technology and technology management, as well as labs and community college resources focused on CNC machining, 3-D printing, cloud and distributed computing, and cyber security.

This project will be a multi-agency initiative involving more than 15 local, regional and state partners. UNI is one of 20 colleges and universities to be selected as a University Center in 2018.

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