Enzyme and biotechnology firm Genencor said it plans to build a new Applications and Training Center for carbohydrate processing.
The group, which is a division of ingredient giant Danisco, expects to construct the center at its existing 80-acre manufacturing site in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The location in a rich corn producing area will allow for easy access to raw material for the carbohydrate processing and fuel ethanol operations it expects to undertake at the new facility.
Construction, which is subject to approval for financial assistance, is scheduled to be completed between the fall of 2008 and the spring of 2009.
"This project supports our mission to continue to provide the most advanced enzyme applications technologies to make grain processing production more efficient and effective," said Troy Wilson, vice president, Grain Processing, for Genencor.
The total cost of the project is set at $3.5m.
The center will include a fully equipped laboratory for analysis and testing, as well as extensive training facilities for customers and staff to build technical knowledge.
According to Genencor, the center will provide the framework for customers to solve "real-world" production challenges.
The company said it will create 20 new positions at the center, which it expects will attract "some of the industry's top technicians and scientists".
Carbohydrate processing in the food industry is used to make products such as sweeteners.
Genencor, which specializes in enzymes, produces a wide range of grain processing enzymes for use in sweetener production. These convert corn, wheat, and other starches to sweeteners.