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Iowa Bioeconomy Site Tours

New Regional Tours - Experience the Latest Innovation!

Arrive in Des Moines on Sunday, July 7 and stay until Friday, July 12 to maximize your BIO World Congress experience! Tours begin Monday, July 8 at 8 AM. 

Iowa and the mid-western region are home to many of the companies, universities and research facilities that are at the forefront of biotechnology innovation. Kicking off the event on Monday morning (July 8), attendees will get the opportunity to go on tours of select campuses and facilities, learning about the impressive work that is being done in the region to fuel and feed the world. 

Already registered for a tour? Know before you go!

The tours are open to World Congress registrants only – with advanced registration required. In preparation for your tour, please follow these guidelines:

  • All tour attendees are required to wear covered, flat shoes and long pants. Open-toe shoes and/or shoes with heels are not permitted.
  • Be sure to bring a government issued photo identification or passport. Some facilities will require guests to present these upon arrival.
  • Photographs are permitted in most venues, but video / voice recordings are discouraged.
  • Please arrive to the designated Tour Check-In at least 20 minutes prior to your tour’s scheduled departure time.
  • Tour buses depart promptly at the designated time (buses will not be held for late attendees):
    • Monday, July 8 - Iowa State University Tour: 8:00am- 12:30pm
    • Monday, July 8 - Bayer/Corteva Agriscience Tour: 9:00am- 4:15pm
    • Thursday, July 11 – Renewable Energy Group (REG) Tour: 10:00am- 12:30pm
    • Thursday, July 11 – Cargill Tour: 10:00am – 4:30pm

Tour Check-In Locations on Monday vs Thursday:

  • Monday, July 8 - Tour Check-In location is at Iowa Events Center, Memorial Hall on West Plaza, 5th Street. Please arrive at least 20 minutes prior to your tour’s departure time to check in for your tour and receive your tour ticket.
  • Location of Monday Tour Check-In:
    • From the Hilton Hotel, please take the skywalk bridge connecting the Hilton and Iowa Events Center to Memorial Hall.
    • Entrance from street level: please arrive via West Plaza on 5th Street.
    • If walking or using a taxi: use address 833 5th Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50309 in your GPS.
  • Thursday Tour Check-In location is at Iowa Events Center, Hall B Foyer (adjacent to the main registration area). Please arrive at least 20 minutes prior to your tour’s departure time to check in for your tour and receive your tour ticket.
  • Location of Thursday Tour Check-In:
    • Entrance from street level: Entrance from street level: please arrive via the Iowa Events Center on 3rd Street.

Learn more about the featured tours at this year's event:

Scaling from Lab to Field: Bioproduct Development at Iowa State University - Iowa State University 

Monday July 8, 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Participants in this tour will learn about the integrated research being conducted at Iowa State University in collaboration with federal, state and industrial stakeholders along the full bioproducts value chain (production, feedstock logistics, processing, and utilization). Attendees will tour two sites: lab scale research facilities at the ISU Biorenewables Laboratory and pilot-scale facilities at the BioCentury Research Farm. Faculty involved in feedstock production and logistics, processing and utilization will lead the tour.

Company Description:
Iowa State University’s Biorenewables Research Laboratory (BRL) building is a visible “front door” to its many diverse and broad-reaching programs in biorenewables. The 70,000 sq. ft. facility, completed in 2010, provides affiliated faculty and staff a physical environment that promotes interdisciplinary, systems-level research and collaboration, including laboratory, meeting and teaching space for both graduate and undergraduate students. The Bioeconomy Institute and the NSF Center for Biorenewable Chemicals are headquartered in this facility.

BioCentury Research Farm provides unique research, development, demonstration, and technology transfer facilities that enable the integration of biomass production, harvest, storage, and conversion into a complete system while making Iowa State University internationally recognized as the home of cutting-edge bioeconomy science and engineering.

Bayer and Corteva Agriscience Tour

Monday July 8, 9:00 AM - 4:15 PM

Participants in this tour get to explore local facilities of two leaders of the industry: Bayer and Corteva Agriscience. This multi-stop tour will feature tour of state- of-the-art seed treatment facilities, agronomy demonstrations, discussions on Plant Breeding, Digital Sciences, and more.

Company Descriptions:

Bayer is committed to operating sustainably and to addressing our social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen, while at the same time respecting the interests of all our stakeholders. Our values help guide us in fulfilling our mission (“Bayer: Science for a Better Life”). These values are represented by the word LIFE (Leadership, Integrity, Flexibility and Efficiency). They apply to everyone at Bayer and are firmly integrated into our global performance management system, ensuring a common identity across national boundaries and management hierarchies.

Corteva Agriscience™, the agriculture division of DowDuPont™, is the only major agriscience company completely dedicated to agriculture. By combining the strengths of DuPont Pioneer, DuPont Crop Protection and Dow AgroSciences, we've harnessed agriculture's brightest minds and expertise gained over two centuries of scientific achievement. Our purpose is to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come.

Corteva Agriscience Johnston, Iowa location is the Global Business Center for seed research. The tour program will include our state-of-the-art seed treatment facility and a stop at our demonstration plots that showcase agronomy demonstrations including the history of corn along with highlighting new and upcoming products.

Moving Fuel Forward: A Look Into the Modern Biofuels Industry - Renewable Energy Group (REG)

Thursday, July 11 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM

As North America’s largest producer of advanced biofuel, REG prides itself on educating the public about the biofuels industry. The tour of REG Newton facility will begin with a presentation from REG leaders on the past, present, and future of the biofuels industry. Attendees will then tour REG’s biodiesel facility and be able to see the entire biodiesel process from start to finish.

Company Description:
Renewable Energy Group (REG) is a leading provider of cleaner, lower carbon intensity products and services. As an international producer of biomass-based diesel, a developer of renewable chemicals and North America’s largest producer of advanced biofuel, REG is committed to being a long-term leader in bio-based fuel and chemicals. As one of the pioneers of the biodiesel industry, REG has a strong history and understanding of how the industry has developed and grown over the years. REG prides itself on sharing this history and discussing how the development of biofuels have impacted a number of other industries across the world. REG is proud of their continued growth through the years to today where the business is a NASDAQ publicly traded company with over 800 employees worldwide. REG Newton is one of REG’s 14 active biorefineries located across the United States and Europe. The facility is a 30 million gallons per year, commercial-scale, state-of-the-art biodiesel production facility. The plant utilizes an integrated procurement, distribution, and logistics network to convert natural fats, oils, greases, and sugars into a lower carbon diesel product.

Transforming Biorefining: An Inside View of One of the World’s Largest Biorefinery Facilities – Cargill, Inc. 

Thursday, July 11 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM

In the heart of the corn belt, the world’s largest biorefineries help transform the bioeconomy at a global scale.  Cargill is sponsoring a tour of the Iowa Bioprocessing Center in Eddyville, IA, one of three in the region (the other two are located in Fort Dodge, IA and Blair, NE). On the tour, you will get a first-hand view of how a biorefinery operates, gain an understanding of the scale required for a global operation, learn about collaborative relationships involved in operating a biorefinery as well as how biorefineries make a significant impact on local communities, end-market applications, and related industries.

Company Description:
Cargill’s 155,000 employees across 70 countries work relentlessly to achieve our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive. We combine 153 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, financial and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. Side-by-side, we are building a stronger, sustainable future for agriculture. Cargill has three biorefineries located in the heart of the United States corn belt – Eddyville, IA, Fort Dodge, IA and Blair, NE. Cargill is the anchor company for the Iowa Bioprocessing Center. The Iowa Bioprocessing Center is a unique, multi-national partnership of leading bioprocessing companies. The Center has had over $1.6 billion in announced capital investments since 1985. Anchored by Cargill Inc., the companies produce a multitude of products from corn utilizing bioprocessing and biomanufacturing processes and technologies. The center and industrial park currently occupy approximately 300 acres with expansion capability to 2,400 acres. Further, the Iowa Bioprocess Training Center (Indian Hills Community College) is a $2 million training facility located in the industrial complex that offers state of the art bioprocessing, biomanufacturing, and biofuel technologies training and education.

BBQ and Sweet Corn Lunch provided by Lunch provided by Indian Hills Regional Development. 

Separate registration for tours will be required. Tour registration will open in March 2019 as an add-on to BIO World Congress registration. Price: $40 per tour. Join our email list for tour announcements and other event updates.   

Tour Tips:

  • Attendees must be registered for the BIO World Congress in order to attend the Iowa Bioeconomy Site Tours
  • Tour attendees must pick up their BIO World Congress prior to boarding the tour bus.
  • Please arrive 20 minutes before your tour’s scheduled departure tour to check-in. Attendees will be required to show their BIO World Congress badge to board the bus.

Disclaimer: Due to security reasons, tour attendees must bring US domestic photo ID (driver's liscense or state ID) or international passports in order to participate on tours.
Please note, due to safety concerns, tour sites will enforce a strict dress code. All tour attendees will be required to where covered shoes and long pants. Open toe shoes, heels, skirts or shorts will not be permitted. Attendees that are wearing any of the above will not be permitted to tour site facilities.