Heartland Plant Innovations (HPI) announced approval of $2.5 million in funding from the Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA) for state-of-the-art plant biotechnology equipment for the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center on the campus of Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.

Funded by the Kansas Wheat Commission, KBA, and private donors, the $8.3 million Kansas Wheat Innovation Center will offer a world-class environment for advanced plant design in close proximity to critical HPI collaborators. The Wheat Innovation Center will house HPI's advanced plant breeding services lab – including a doubled haploid lab, molecular biology lab, seed lab and plant transformation lab, as well as several walk-in plant growth chambers, greenhouses and cold storage rooms.

“This funding from the KBA will allow HPI to secure critical equipment to continue advancing our innovative approach to plant biotechnology,” said Forrest Chumley, Ph.D., president and CEO of HPI. “These state-of-the-art greenhouses and plant growth chambers, with modern systems for cooling and lighting, soil preparation, and seed processing, put us in a position to deliver innovative, market-driven solutions for rapid commercialization in Kansas and across the world.”

Half of the KBA funding will be issued as a five-year loan. The other half will be issued as a grant tied to a royalty in which HPI will pay a four percent royalty to KBA each year company revenues exceed $3 million (until a total of ten annual payments have been made).

The Kansas Wheat Innovation Center is expected to open its doors in 2012.