Jul 25, 2018
Valent Biosciences Opens Global Research Center in Illinois

Valent Biosciences officially opened the doors of its new global research facility in Libertyville, Illinois on July 24. The Biorational Research Center (BRC), is located in Libertyville’s Innovation Park complex.

More than 250 guests gathered to join grand opening festivities and tour the 85,000 square-foot facility, adjacent to the company’s longtime headquarters.

For the horticulture industry, the Valent Biosciences family of companies includes Mycorrhizal Applications, MGK and Pace International.

Johann Pienaar, vice present and chief operating officer of Mycorrhizal Applications, discusses the benefits of growing with mycorrhizae.

Ray Nishimoto, managing executive officer of Sumitomo Chemical, cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the new research center (see photo above).

The opening of the BRC completes a two-year build-out and transition from VBC’s legacy research facility in nearby Long Grove, Illinois.

The facility has approximately 65,000 square-feet of open-concept lab and office space combined with a state-of-the-art, 20,000 square-foot greenhouse.

In addition to its technological upgrades, the move is intended to streamline cross-functional collaboration among VBC’s team of innovative plant, soil and formulation scientists, microbiologists, entomologists, and chemists.

“This breathtaking new facility is a testimony to the notable success of our R&D group,” said Ted Melnik, executive vice president and chief operating officer of VBC. “All patents and awards aside, that success ultimately comes down to an ability to develop and commercialize sustainable products that deliver clear value to our stakeholders — whether they be growers, food companies, foresters, or governments that fight against insect-borne disease.”

The BRC is the latest addition to the Sumitomo Chemical Company (SCC) Biorational Research Network (BRN), a strategic enterprise that includes both internal resources and external expertise. As the parent company to VBC, SCC deploys a global team of scientists operating in lab and field research facilities at key locations around the globe. Central to the BRN mission are investigations that brings together biorational and conventional technologies that work in harmony with nature.

The opening of the BRC is another in a string of investments VBC has made into its biorational business over recent years. In addition to the acquisition of Pace International (2012) and Mycorrhizal Applications (2015), VBC also opened its Iowa-based $150 million biorational manufacturing plant in 2014, the first ever purpose-built biorational facility in the world.

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