Andrew Liveris, president, chairman and CEO of the Dow Chemical Co., shares a laugh with Gov. Mike Pence (right) after they help cut a ribbon to commemorate the opening of Dow AgroSciences’ new Biotechnology Research Center in Indianapolis. The research and development facility is part of $340 million expansion plan announced in 2010.
INDIANAPOLIS — Dow AgroSciences is on the grow, opening a new 175,000-square-foot research and development facility at its global headquarters in Indianapolis.
The Biotechnology Research Center is part of a $340-million, five-year expansion announced in March 2010, said Antonio Galindez, Dow AgroSciences president and CEO.
“Just three years later, we are well on our way,” he said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the building.
The facility will support more than 200 research scientists from the company’s Advanced Technology Development and Bioengineering and Bioprocessing Research and Development departments.
As part of its expansion plans, Dow AgroSciences will add 550 new employees. More than 400 already have been hired, Galindez said.
Before the CEO could even complete that announcement, Gov. Mike Pence began applauding.
“When we were applying for this job, we said we were going to make job creation job one,” the new governor said in an interview after the ceremony. “Our top priority is to increase private-sector employment and increase investment in additional areas of strength, and those are, as we all know, agriculture, manufacturing, logistics and life sciences.”
Pence said Dow AgroSciences is making a record capital investment in Marion County.
“I’m encouraged by that. I was anxious to be here to participate in this ribbon cutting,” he said. “I’m also very encouraged to hear the chairman of Dow talk about the fact the whole board is here and they’re very impressed with Indiana and they’re open to considering increasing investments as we make plans to promote life sciences jobs in the months and years ahead.”
“It is an enormous commitment to the state of Indiana and it’s an enormous affirmation of the quality of our workforce here in the state,” he added.
“I think the key going forward is that we would continue to create opportunities for greater collaboration between our research universities and colleges and companies like Dow AgroSciences and like other great companies that work in and around life sciences.”
Pence noted that he is working with state lawmakers to create a new public-private research institute that would create closer ties between private business and Indiana schools to help boost investment and job growth.
“We think that is a proven model and it’s going to create more opportunities for more ribbon cuttings and more jobs and more investments in the years ahead,” he said.
Agriculture will be a major focus, the governor said.
“We’re really committed to keeping Indiana in the lead on agricultural innovation, and the establishment of an Agriculture Innovation Corridor is a centerpiece of that,” he said. “I know that our secretary of agriculture and lieutenant governor is deeply committed to continuing to forge the kind of partners and attracting investment like here at Dow AgroSciences that will make that a reality.
“In Indiana, we do two things really well, as least we have ever since our inception, and that is we make things and we grow things. At places like Dow AgroSciences, those things come together, where agriculture meets science and bioresearch.
“And it all creates jobs and opportunities for Indiana, but also it’s important to remember that Hoosiers with our innovation, our technology and our work ethic are helping to feed the world — and I think that’s something that should be satisfying to every Hoosier.”
In a tour before the ribbon cutting, research scientist Katie Pawelczak praised the design of the new facility, which features laboratory areas walled with glass to provide views to and from the neighboring office space. Among the desks are spaceship-like booths where small groups can gather to discuss their work.
“I am just thrilled with this building. It’s got a really wonderful collaborative environment,” Pawelczak said.
She noted the center is stocked with new machines, the most modern equipment available today.
“This is as advanced as we can get,” she beamed.
Galindez said the company’s future is bright.
“Our pipeline of future technologies is better than ever,” he said. “We are investing in our own future.”
“This is a great time to be in agriculture and a great time to be in Dow AgroSciences,” he added.
Helping to feed the world’s growing population “is a privilege and it is a responsibility that we take very seriously,” Galindez said.
“We have a legacy of innovation at Dow AgroSciences, and we won’t let you down,” added Andrew Liveris, president, chairman and CEO of the Dow Chemical Co.
Dow AgroSciences is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Co. and had annual global sales of $6.4 billion last year.
Liveris complimented Indiana as a “business friendly” state. Galindez said it is fifth among states in the life sciences industry.
“We’re going for No. 1,” Pence vowed.
“It’s great to be growing in Indiana.” he said.