• Iowa grant program helps medTech industry retain talent in the state

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    August 31, 2017

    Iowa City-based IDx knows the importance of keeping tech talent in Iowa. The medical device company is entering into clinical trials for their AI technology that automates the detection of diabetic retinopathy in diabetes patients.

    If the trial is a success and IDx becomes a leader in AI medTech, they’re going to have to scale up their team of 20. As they look ahead towards the possibility of increasing their staff to 100, 200 or more, they’re asking the question that all tech companies in the area are asking.

    Is there enough tech talent in Iowa to sustain the scaling of the business?

    “We’ve got a big clinical trial underway right now for FDA clearance over our diabetic retinopathy screening device,” said Ben Clark, Chief Operating Officer at IDx. “What happens if we’re successful in that? […] We’ve sort of come across this common theme that we’re not the only ones experiencing this transition in a highly regulated space to automation.”

    Iowa’s medTech industry, in particular, is struggling to keep technical talent in the state which is slowing industry growth. Over the past 10 years, the number of medical technology companies in the Creative Corridor has remained relatively flat, which is reflective of the broader trend of a nationwide decline in medical technology startups.

    The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has developed a program to help fight the loss of skilled tech professionals who are leaving the state to find employment elsewhere. Their program provides grant funding through student internship programs that match intern wages paid by a company dollar for dollar.

    The program targets industries such as bioscience, advanced manufacturing, and information technology, and is beneficial to startups that can’t compete with the pay of other well-established companies.

    See the full article on the Silicon Prairie News