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Nadilia Gomez joins Iowa State as Digital and Precision Agriculture CTO

Posted Apr 14, 2021

Iowa State has filled its third and final chief technology officer position to support the State of Iowa’s ongoing Biobased-sciences economic growth initiative. Nadilia Gomez joins the university as the CTO for the Digital and Precision Agriculture research and innovation platform, bringing with her a valuable blend of industry, entrepreneurial and academic experience and insight.

Gomez most recently served as executive director for the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator. For the decade prior to that, she served in a variety of roles for DuPont-Pioneer and Corteva Agriscience, including the role of digital pillar leader. In that role, she managed a portfolio of research initiatives in digital innovations and trained more than 100 scientists and mentored more than 30 intrapreneurs, providing guidance in Lean Startup methodologies, project valuation, the use of the Business Model Canvas, and the creation of investment memos.

As CTO, Gomez will work closely with the Digital and Precision Agriculture platform lead and director of the Plant Sciences Institute, Pat Schnable, and research teams at Iowa State to identify technologies with commercial potential in the Digital and Precision Agriculture space. Gomez will also work in tandem with the BioConnect Iowa CEO and staff to prioritize those opportunities for commercial development within Iowa.

“We’re delighted that Nadilia has joined Iowa State as the new chief technology officer for the Digital and Precision Agriculture research and innovation platform,” Schnable said. “Nadilia has a depth of industry and academic experience that will be vital in bridging the gap between research and commercialization to identify relevant new technologies that deliver value to the market and help fuel economic growth in the state.”

Gomez is embracing her new opportunity enthusiastically.

“Iowa State has a lot of advantages compared to other institutions,” she said. “The research is superb. The impact on agriculture is relevant and timely, and there is a lot of work that supports established Iowa-based companies as well as entrepreneurial ventures.”

Gomez believes her industry experience will prove a valuable asset in the innovation ecosystem Iowa State is creating around the Digital and Precision Agriculture platform.

“Adding industry perspective to academic research teams increases those teams’ awareness of industry values, objectives and priorities,” she said. “Having a shared vocabulary, clear objectives, and a more effective exchange of ideas and best practices helps establish a common ground between research and industry. That common ground strengthens existing partnerships and creates new ones. I’m optimistic that adding my background to an already-strong research community will help proliferate entrepreneurial success within a community where innovative ideas abound. I’m equally optimistic we’ll be able to accelerate the creation of products, services and businesses that are well-positioned to address the ever-evolving challenges in agriculture.”

Perhaps equally important to her industry knowledge and insight are the relationships Gomez brings to Iowa State in her role as CTO.

“My time at DuPont-Pioneer, Corteva and the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator provided me with the opportunity to establish relationships with exceptionally talented individuals across a variety of industries at the local, national and international levels,” Gomez said. “The reality is people make things happen, and fostering a growing network of individuals is crucial for creating and supporting a resilient and creative community that will advance digital and precision ag innovations and business opportunities.”

Gomez joins her colleague CTOs at Iowa State, Sundeep Vani with the Biobased Products platform and Michael Roof with Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics.

“It’s exciting to have all our Bioscience research and innovation platforms at full strength,” said Peter Dorhout, vice president for research at Iowa State. “The additions of Drs. Gomez, Vani and Roof – combined with our respected platform leads – provide the market sensibility and collaborative leadership necessary to leverage faculty and student innovation and drive the technology transfer needed to sustain long-term success and economic growth for the state through the Biosciences.”