Prometheus Awards | Iowa unemployment | Veterans Affairs | Out to Lunch
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Business Record
Friday AM Daily | April 21, 2017
Electronic Engineering
Prometheus Awards honor Ames, Engelmann, Advanced Analytical Technologies 
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The LWBJ Prometheus Awards named Ames the Technology Community of the Year, for attracting new tech developments that have taken advantage of the programs of Iowa State University, the ISU Research Park, the Des Moines Area Community College Hunziker Academy, and the support of the Ames Chamber of Commerce.

Several awards honored the work of accelerator NewBoCo, including the LWBJ Impact Award and the CEO of the Year award for Eric Engelmann.

Ankeny-based Advanced Analytical Technologies Inc. won the Life Sciences & Biotech Company of the Year Award. SwineTech of New Sharon, which aims to lessen mortality in hog facilities, was named Student Innovator of the Year.

The awards gala featured the theme "Level Up" and a display of vintage video games, with table centerpieces that were lit sculptures of Tetris formations. Poet James Autry gave the keynote, stressing the importance of relationships, and a parade of winners each came to the stage to tunes that included the Beatles' "Come Together."

See a complete list of winners.

Iowa's $11 billion technology industry was honored at an elaborate dinner, ceremony and dance at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center Thursday night. The industry accounts for 8.8 percent of the state's gross domestic product and employs 76,000 workers.

"The Prometheus Awards is the most prestigious recognition for Iowa's technology industry and brings together leaders from the tech community to celebrate the year's most momentous innovations," Brian Waller, president of the event organizer, Technology Association of Iowa, said in a statement. "The 2017 award winners epitomize the great talent, companies and communities in Iowa and further solidify Iowa's reputation as a technology state."

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NEWS BRIEFS

Iowa unemployment rate falls
Iowa's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 3.1 percent in March, down from 3.8 percent a year ago. The national rate stood at 4.5 percent in March. The labor market continues to be tight. "Unemployed Iowans continued to leave the labor force in March," said Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development director. "The reduction in Iowa's total labor force represents a smaller pool of qualified applicants and is making it difficult for businesses to fill positions. Total nonfarm employment showed little hiring among Iowa businesses this month, resulting in a net decline in jobs." The number of unemployed Iowans fell to 51,900 in March from 53,800 in February. Iowa businesses cut jobs for the first time since November, with total nonfarm employment down to 1,580,600 jobs.

About face! Tymeson returns to run Veterans Affairs
Former state Rep. Jodi Tymeson, who resigned as executive director of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs in 2013 to lead the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown, will return as the chief of Veterans Affairs on May 1, Gov. Terry Branstad reported. Tymeson served in the Iowa Army National Guard from 1974 to 2007, when she retired. She was the first female promoted to brigadier general in the Iowa Army National Guard. Tymeson was a state representative from 2001 to 2010. The executive director position had been held by Col. Robert King. 

Downtown alliance announces 'Out to Lunch' dates, musical acts
Downtown Community Alliance has set four dates for this year's "Out to Lunch" gatherings featuring food trucks and music. The events run 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on these dates and locations:

  • May 18, Walnut Street between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Street, featuring Randy Burk and the Prisoners.
  • May 31 on 13th Street between Locust Street and Grand Avenue with David Zollo.
  • June 15 on Walnut Street between Eighth and Ninth Streets, with music by the Zachary Freedom Duo.
  • July 13 on 13th Street between Locust Street and Grand Avenue featuring North of Grand.

Global insurance technology budgets expected to shrink 2 percent
Insurers plan to spend most of their technology budgets on data and analytics, cloud storage and insurtech, according to new research from Celent, Digital Insurance reported. Worldwide technology spending by insurers is slated to reach $185 billion this year, according to the researcher's "IT Spending in Insurance 2017" report. That represents a 2 percent decrease year-over-year. North American carriers are a catalyst behind the drop in totaling spending in North America is expected to decline 6 percent to $73 billion, compared with Europe and Asia, whose tech spending habits are steadily rising. The dip is attributed to chief information officers' lower projections for IT investments as a percentage of premiums, Celent says.

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Iowa senators critique 'ridiculous' artworks, vote to eliminate art in state buildings
Iowa Public Radio: A Republican proposal to get rid of Iowa's Art in State Buildings program sparked a contentious debate in the Iowa Senate on Thursday. The program sets aside a small percentage of the cost of state building projects to commission onsite paintings and sculpture. GOP lawmakers say they've heard a lot of criticism about the artworks on campuses, at rest stops, and around the Capitol complex.

ABC disputes BPI's methods of calculating damages
Sioux City Journal: Lawyers for ABC have taken exception to how experts retained by Beef Products Inc. have calculated the amount of lost sales and business value in the company's $1.9 billion defamation lawsuit against the network.

Trump targets cheap Chinese steel in probe, rallying U.S. steel stocks
Reuters: President Donald Trump on Thursday launched a trade probe against China and other exporters of cheap steel into the U.S. market, raising the possibility of new tariffs and sending shares of some U.S. steel makers up over 8 percent.

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