DuPont has opened a $40m, 200,000 square foot plant genetics research facility in Johnston, Iowa, to focus on plant breeding and research and development of new transgenic products, the company has said.
The new R&D capabilities are set to create about 400 new jobs, including for experts in plant physiology, molecular biology and bioinformatics, DuPont said.
Paul Schickler, president of DuPont’s Pioneer Hi-Bred business, said in a statement: “Beaver Creek will take DuPont’s research and development efforts in seed and plant genetics to the next level and ensure we are consistently providing new solutions and products to farmers and communities around the world. Pioneer is dedicated to providing the right product for the right acre, and this new facility in Johnston will advance that mission.”
In February, the company also announced an investment of over $10bn in food and nutrition research and development over the next nine years, in an effort to meet the challenge of feeding the world’s growing population. DuPont said that the opening of this latest research facility is another example of its commitment to “feeding the world through innovation”.
At the opening ceremony of the new plant earlier this week, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad said: “This is an example of the growth that will keep Iowa youth in the state to be a part of a global company that is working with farmers and scientists to feed the world.”
DuPont had sales of about $38bn in 2011 and its role in food and nutrition has accelerated, particularly with the acquisition of Danish specialty food ingredient company Danisco in May last year. Sales in the nutrition and health segment hit $806m during the fourth quarter of 2011, with $468m of that from the acquisition of Danisco, the company has said.