The Midwest Intellectual Property Management Institute (IP institute) is a non-profit organization that focuses on technology-based economic development, which identifies innovation and the emphasis on a region’s technological strengths as the keys to success on in a global economy. In order to achieve these goals, it offers a two-pronged approach that utilizes already-existing resources in our region—patents and retired professionals.
On one side, the IP Institute identifies unused and underused intellectual property, mostly patents, of large companies and transfers them to other companies who have great potential for growth by utilizing it to create marketable products and services. However, the new uses for patent must not be competitive with the patent holder’s business. On the other side, the IP Institute utilizes the business and technical knowledge and experience of retired professionals in the region by using them as consultants and mentors to growing businesses. The transferring of intellectual property and business knowledge allow businesses to expand, which in turn leads to the creation of jobs—a top goal of economic development.
Effectively utilizing both of these resources will be greatly beneficial to our region. According to the IP Institute website “the Midwest has inherent advantages in food production technologies and the biofuels industries, areas that will become increasingly important as the world faces the challenges of feeding a growing population and supplementing an increasingly expensive oil supply. Our region could conceivably become a world center for technologies and manufacturing related to these industries.”
The IP Institute serves a 50-county region in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, with its headquarters in Moline and another office in Cedar Rapids. It is made possible through its staff, experienced professionals, corporate partners, and grants from Renew Moline and the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.