CONTACT: GEORGE MCCRORY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0012; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: April 19, 2001
Environmental services firm locates at TIC
CORALVILLE, Iowa -- Just in time for Earth Day, the University of Iowa Technology
Innovation Center (TIC) will welcome an environmental services firm to its
business incubator on the Oakdale Research Campus in Coralville. The newest
TIC tenant will be Essential Science, Inc., a company that develops technology
to measure reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
The Board of Regents, State of Iowa approved the company's lease at the
TIC at its meeting Wednesday in Vinton.
Essential Science President Richard Ney, who will receive his Ph.D. in civil
and environmental engineering from the UI this May, will develop and market
the measurement technology based on eight years of research at the UI and
a decade of successful consulting practice.
The company is breaking into the new market of trading credits for greenhouse
gas emissions, which would be established under international agreements,
U.S. legislation for voluntary emissions programs, and private trading initiatives.
In an emissions trading program, a government or trading agency issues a number
of permits or allowances to sources of a particular pollutant (in this case
greenhouse gases) to release a specified number of tons of the pollutant,
consistent with the desired level of emissions. The owners of the permits
may keep them and release the pollutants or reduce their emissions and sell
"It provides an economic reward for doing the right thing environmentally,"
By developing new techniques to confidently measure greenhouse gas reductions,
Essential Science will help companies verify and improve their emission trades,
providing higher value for their emission credits. The company will focus
on trades involving energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, such as switchgrass
and poplar trees, or carbon stored within soils from converting row crop agriculture
to prairie or grass, or switching to no-till or organic farming applications.
The emission trading market has great potential to benefit both the industrial
and agricultural sectors of the Iowa economy, Ney said. Farmers and corporate
landowners can be paid for converting to these carbon-storing practices on
the private contract market. Even if the Kyoto Protocol is not ratified, Ney
believes the emissions trading market remains strong with solid commitments
from DuPont, Shell, and several other major corporations voluntarily pledging
to reduce their emission levels.
"There is a tremendous amount of activity in this area, even in the
absence of formal legislative support from the U.S. Congress. The time is
right for Essential Science to be an early leader in providing services to
this emerging market," Ney said.
The company will assist industries, electric utilities, the agricultural
community, and governmental agencies to develop emission reduction programs,
and also provide measurement services to determine the amount of emissions
that is occurring through the program.
Essential Science will be located in Suite 231 of the TIC.
One of the universitys technology transfer programs, the TIC was established
in 1984 to nurture new technology-based business ventures and to encourage
those companies to establish relationships with the UI.
When Essential Sciences' lease becomes effective May 1, the TIC will have
14 tenant companies. Some 17 TIC "graduate" firms have expanded
their business after leaving the incubator.
For additional information about the TIC, contact Tom Bauer, associate director,
at (319) 335-4067.