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By Audrey Regan, Communications Intern

As a college student amazed by the exponential improvement of technology and in Iowa’s contributions to advanced biotechnology, being an audience member at the 11th Annual LWBJ Prometheus Awards, hosted by The Technology Association of Iowa, was a remarkable experience.

There was record-breaking attendance this year, with nearly one thousand leaders from diverse backgrounds in government, business and education. The theme of the night, “Our Future is Now,” seemed to stem from one issue in particular: as the world’s population continues to grow, the need for advanced biotechnology to create a sustainable future increases

During the award ceremony there were a few winners in particular who provoked me to think about how Iowa leads the way in agriculture and technology. A particular Iowa State University student, Ella Gehrke, was recognized for her contributions to helping reduce world hunger for her invention known as KinoSol, a mobile solar dehydrator that can help communities in underdeveloped countries preserve their food using minimal energy and space.

As well as being one of ten projects competing for $10,000 in the Thought for Food Challenge, this unique technology also placed KinoSol as the winner of the Student Innovation of the Year award at the award ceremony.

Iowa’s Cultivation Corridor presented the new Ag Technology Company of the Year Award to John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group. Above all, this company demonstrated industry leadership in the development of technology which continues to contribute to more efficient and sustainable agriculture.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership proudly accepted the other new award presented at this year’s Prometheus Award ceremony, the LWBJ Impact Award, for impacting Iowa’s growth, success and sustainability of Iowa’s technology industry.

To read more about each of the nominees and finalists in other categories at the 11th Annual Prometheus Awards, click here.