The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

April 5, 2004

IDT Expands Information Systems Division To Oakdale Research Park

Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc. (IDT) of Coralville has announced it is expanding to the nearby University of Iowa Oakdale Research Park. IDT has leased a 7,200 square foot office building at 2300 Oakdale Boulevard from Midwest Development & Investment Corporation to house the biotech company's expanding information systems division.

IDT may be the state's largest university spin-off firm in 50 years.

Last month IDT announced a five-year, $26.5 million capital expansion program that will add 40,000 square feet of manufacturing space at its headquarters facility and create 200 additional jobs in Coralville at an average wage of $16.89 per hour. A $6 million award from the state's Grow Iowa Values Fund will aid the overall expansion. IDT's current facility is about 54,000 square feet in size and has about 300 employees.

"This center is a major part of our overall expansion effort, and the location is ideal. The software development and bioinformatics group are a key part of IDT, and this facility will allow the computational research and more classical software engineering departments to work hand-in-hand. These groups will be better positioned to support both our domestic and international growth," said Dr. Joseph Walder, IDT founder, president and CEO.

IDT leased the building from its new owner, Midwest Development & Investment Corporation (MDIC) of Fairfield, Iowa. MDIC owns and manages 28 commercial and industrial properties in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin and is an active investor in commercial properties. "From a business perspective we are delighted to begin new relationships with a world leader such as IDT and with the Oakdale Research Park. Moreover, we are excited to be part of Iowa's Technology Corridor and we fully expect to participate in its future growth," said Alan Marks, president of MDIC.

The expansion at Oakdale is something of a homecoming for IDT since it was founded with the UI Technology Innovation Center at Oakdale before moving to commercial space elsewhere in Coralville.

" We welcome back to Oakdale our old friends from Integrated DNA. We're pleased that Dr. Walder and his colleagues have attained such spectacular growth and industrial prominence. Because of their hard work they have grown from a little incubator company with a couple of employees and a dream into a substantial corporate citizen of our area," said Bruce Wheaton, director of the UI Oakdale Research Park.

IDT is a world leader in the development and manufacture of short strands of synthetic DNA for use in clinical and therapeutic genetic research applications, and that are in demand by research universities, pharmaceutical companies and laboratories throughout the United States and in more than 40 other countries. The information systems division develops sophisticated custom applications and manages systems for IDT's manufacturing operations. The bioinformatics group designs and builds computational tools for genetic research and makes those tools available to IDT's customers. The division is headed by Iowa City native Aaron R. Warner, senior vice president of information systems.

A privately held company, IDT was founded in 1987 by Dr. Joseph Walder, then a UI biochemistry professor. It was based on discoveries made by Dr. Walder and colleagues at the UI and core technology was licensed to the start-up company by the UI Research Foundation. The company started with two employees in the UI Technology Innovation Center business incubator in 1987 and graduated to its own facility in Coralville's Heartland Industrial Park in 1989.

The 189-acre Oakdale Research Park in Coralville is one of several UI programs that build relationships between UI research assets and industry. The Park offers technology companies a convenient location to establish and sustain research relationships with the UI. There are presently 12 buildings on the Park totaling 322,000 square feet of office and laboratory space representing an investment of $120 million. Park and TIC business incubator affiliate companies and laboratories have nearly 1,500 employees.

Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc.: Aaron Warner, senior vice president of information systems, 319-626-8420,
Midwest Development & Investment Corporation: Alan Marks, president, 641-472-0902,
UI Oakdale Research Park: Bruce Wheaton, director, 319-335-4063,

MEDIA CONTACT: George McCrory, 319-384-0012,