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Opportunities for Industry

The Center for Crops Utilization Research (CCUR) offers a variety of opportunities for industry clients to collaborate on research and development projects and have access to our unique facilities and equipment. We provide cost-effective services to our clients to help them develop and test new products and processes. CCUR's pilot plants provide commercial enterprises a cost-effective way to test new products and processes without interrupting their usual production regimens. CCUR's involvement can take an number of forms: from simple equipment rental, through technical assistance with equipment usage, cooperative research contracts, or proprietary agreements. Equipment rental and support staff payment can take a number of forms including equipment donation and in-kind services.

Firms have contracted with CCUR for technical services that include: grain quality analysis, starch and protein separation and analysis, oil extraction, spray or tray drying, centrifugation, extrusion, test kitchen food preparation, sensory analysis, and a host of related activities.

CCUR offers a variety of ways companies can collaborate depending on their research needs.

  • Collaborative Projects: Work with Iowa State University faculty and staff through joint solicitations or industry sponsorships.
  • Fee for Service: Conduct research on‑site using CCUR facilities and expertise.
  • Space and Equipment Leases: Lease space and equipment to conduct proprietary research.
  • Industry Incubator Program: Locate your company or organization at the CCUR to carry out proprietary research and development.

To learn about possible opportunities for your company, contact:

Zhiyou Wen
Director, Center for Crops Utilization Research

1041 Food Sciences Building
536 Farm House Lane 
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50011-1054
(515) 294-0426

Lab and Pilot Plant Services

Staff Assistance: 

Professional and Scientific Staff
Student Equipment Operator

Equipment Lists:

Pilot Plant Equipment

Fermentation and Downstream Processing Equipment

Analytical Services:

Crude Free Fat (Oil) Content (Goldfisch extraction method, includes duplicate replications)
Total Nitrogen and Protein Content (Dumas method using the Vario-Max CN Analyzer, includes duplicate replications)
Moisture and Solids Content (AACC Standards Methods using convection oven, includes duplicate replications)

Corn Milling:

Dry Corn Milling (1 kg product only)
Dry Corn Milling (1 kg product and mass balance)
Wet Corn Milling (100 g product only)
Wet Corn Milling (100 g product and mass balance)
Wet Corn Milling (1 kg product only)
Wet Corn Milling (1 kg product and mass balance)
Wet Corn Milling (10 kg product only)
Wet Corn Milling (10 kg product and mass balance

Soy Processing:

Feed-grade Soybean Extraction (1 bu soybeans)
Food-grade soybean Extraction (1 bu soybeans)
Soy Protein Concentration (Acid washed, 15 kg soy meal)
Soy Protein Isolation (15 kg soy meal)

Sensory Evaluations:

Descriptive Analysis (10 panelists, 2-5 samples, 3-5 attributes, 6 training sessions, 3 test sessions)
Consumer Preference/Acceptability (8-10 panelists, 3-5 samples)
Difference Test (50 panelists, 2 samples)

Industry Incubator Program

The CCUR industry incubator program, composed of three laboratories and six offices, helps small technology companies start a successful business or expand their existing business. Businesses are allotted space for short periods of time (up to 2 years) to network with faculty, test new products and processes, and use pilot-plant scale equipment and other labs. Businesses can also receive assistance in developing successful, permanent off‑site business operations.

Industry Incubator Space Options

Pilot Plant Space
Laboratory Space (typically 400 square feet)
Office Space (typically 120 square feet)

Previous & Current Incubator Clients

  • Ajinomoto
  • ExSeed Genetics LLC
  • Gross-Wen Technologies
  • IdeoPak 
  • Kemin Industries, Inc.
  • Mrs. Clark's Foods
  • Essentia Protein Solutions (formerly Proliant Meat Ingredients)
  • Renewable Energy Group
  • SAFI-Tech (current client)
  • Sep-All
  • StratiTek