July 2, 2015
The Iowa State University Research Park (ISU RP) and Vermeer Corp. recently broke ground on the Vermeer Applied Technology Hub; a state of the art facility that will house offices, meeting spaces and a high bay space.
“We are excited to continue our relationship with Iowa State to demonstrate how partnership between Iowa’s education system and private industry can best be applied,” said Jason Andringa, Vermeer’s COO. “When the state, our education system and the state’s private industry come together, strong economic development potential can follow.”
Vermeer intends to create an environment for software engineers to excel in the development of practical, affordable and modular equipment technology. The space will provide office space to allow students and faculty from Iowa State and other schools to work collaboratively on technology advancements for Vermeer industrial and agricultural equipment. As technology is developed, Vermeer intends to utilize the high-bay facility for testing and validation.
Vermeer will initially occupy approximately 23,000 ft of the 35,880-sq-ft facility, which ISU RP will build, own and operate. The remaining 12,880 sq ft is available for lease. ISU RP is an innovation community and incubator for new and expanding businesses and is located in Ames, Iowa, just south of the ISU campus.
“Vermeer represents a great model for engagement with Iowa State University. Their presence at ISU RP allows them immediate access to topnotch talent, and this facility will take that to the next level, as it will offer students and employees a way to learn and interact in a hands-on environment,” said Steve Carter, director at ISU RP. “This is a win not only for the company, but also for enhancing student learning.”
In 2012, Vermeer created a presence at ISU RP as a means of engagement with future workforce and to benefit from increased collaboration with academia. Since then, there have been seven capstone projects in which Vermeer and ISU students have partnered together to advance the educational instruction of students using real-life Vermeer opportunities. In addition, more than 25 students and Vermeer team members utilize the existing office space each year, and the company intends to recruit additional software engineers and employees to work from the space.
Des Moines-based Weitz is the project’s construction manager and Ames-based Haila Architecture Structure + Planning Ltd the architect. Construction will continue throughout 2015 and into early 2016, with an anticipated move-in date in May 2016.