Two local companies awarded $500,000 in grants

Deco Products and Iowa Rotocast Plastics Inc. of Decorah have both been awarded $500,000 in grants from Iowa Economic Development Authority programs.

Deco Products and Iowa Rotocast Plastics Inc. of Decorah have both been awarded $500,000 in grant funding from the Iowa Economic Development Authority programs.

Approximately $20 million in Manufacturing 4.0 Workforce Innovation Program grants were announced by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. The grants were awarded to 46 companies in Iowa.

The $500,000 grant to Deco Products and the four grants which total $500,000 to Iowa Rotocast Plastics Inc., were among the largest awarded in the state. A minimum match of 25 % was required.

Uses for the grant funds include helping increase productivity, efficiency and competitiveness through acquisition of new equipment such as specialized automation, collaborative robotics and equipment for process improvements; as well as acquiring specialized hardware and software in Industry 4.0 technology groups such as IIOT infrastrucutre hardware, cybersecurity software, sensor integration tools, predictive maintenance software, data visualization software, inventory tracking equipment and more.

The recent grants are funded with $30 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds. The grants are geared toward Iowa manufacturers with 76 to 250 employees investing in industry 4.0 technologies to address workforce issues exacerbated by the negative impacts of COVID-19. Iowa’s Manufacturing 4.0 plan, a roadmap to help Iowa manufacturers remain globally competitive through a fourth industrial revolution that emphasizes automation and smart technology, was launched in February 2021.

“Our Manufacturing 4.0 initiative focuses on one of Iowa’s largest industries, and will help them unleash new potential to grow their businesses,” said Reynolds. “To maintain our economic vitality in this sector, particularly as we work to mitigate ongoing workforce shortages, these grants serve as a critical resource to support advanced manufacturing businesses. It is imperative that our businesses remain globally competitive and a step ahead of the evolving demands of the 21st century economy.”

A complete list of the state’s grant recipients is available on the Iowa Manufacturing 4.0 website.

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