Syngenta spends $94 million to expand N.C. campus

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Syngenta is set again to expand its Innovation Center in Research Triangle Park, N.C., USA. The new building will be connected to the recently completed Advanced Crop Lab, which opened in May. The $94 million investment will serve growers around the world by delivering healthier and higher yielding plant varieties.

"This new facility will bring our employees together in one location, furthering our ability to work collaboratively on crop trait discovery and development that brings growers the tools they need to improve plant performance in any environment," said Michiel van Lookeren Campagne, president of Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc. and head of biotechnology for Syngenta.

The new building will complement the new Advanced Crop Lab with 200,000 square feet of laboratory and office space, built using environmentally-sustainable construction. The facility is designed as a collaborative environment to maximize the opportunity for interaction and provides access to the different types of workspaces employees need to effectively perform their work -- specially designed laboratories, office areas and meeting spaces.

Recent technologies developed at the Syngenta RTP campus include Agrisure Duracade™, which will be sold to U.S. farmers starting this fall for the 2014 planting season. Agrisure Duracade is a corn trait that provides a new mode of action to help combat corn rootworm - a multi-billion dollar pest for corn farmers every year.

"We thank all of the economic development partners from the state of North Carolina who worked so hard to help us attract this investment here. Governor McCrory and his staff, the Department of Commerce, the Durham County Board of Commissioners, the Department of Transportation, the N.C. Biotechnology Center, and the Durham Chamber of Commerce all share our vision of creating a strong biotechnology presence in North Carolina," said Dr. van Lookeren Campagne. "We are proud to be a part of the region's growing agricultural technology cluster."

Research at the site will focus on traits that can help crops better tolerate climate variability, combat plant stresses such as drought, and enhance productivity and plant performance. In addition to the current focus on corn, soybean, and sugar cane, research will be expanded to support other crops such as cereals, rice and vegetables.

"North Carolina has its roots in agriculture and we've become one of the top states for hi-tech agribusiness research and production," said Governor Pat McCrory. "The growth of Syngenta in our state solidifies that economic sector and is an example to others of the strong talent pool and attractive quality of life that characterizes the Research Triangle."

The company expects to begin construction in Q4 of 2013, with the first phase of construction completed in 2015 and the final phase completed in 2016. The company currently employs approximately 400 people in RTP.

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