KWS, a global plant science company, has selected St. Louis to be the home of its new North American research facility. The company’s $13.7 million investment is expected to create 75 high-paying jobs in the next three to five years.
KWS, headquartered in Germany, has been breeding crops for temperate climates for more than 150 years. The company provides seed cultivation of sugar beets, corn, grains, feed, oil and protein plants, vegetables and potatoes and related activities. KWS has more than 4,400 employees in 70 countries.
“With the establishment of the KWS Gateway Research Center we are now present in two of the world’s prime locations for plant research: US and Germany,” said Léon Broers, KWS member of the executive board responsible for research and breeding.
“Located in the BRDG Park, in the middle of a cluster of universities, institutes and startups, the planned new facility is scheduled to strengthen the position of KWS in global plant research, offering proximity to one of the key markets and major centers of excellence in plant research,” Broers added.
The state’s bioscience industry, comprised of more than 4,000 agribusiness and life science companies, is fueled by a growing workforce and rich agricultural history. Missouri’s institutions of higher education provide Missouri with the largest concentration of plant scientists, with 40 of the state’s colleges and universities offering bachelor’s degrees or higher in biological or biomedical science. Additionally, Missouri ranks second in the number of farms in the U.S., providing plant science companies with easy access to suppliers and customers.
“When we first developed Missouri’s Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth in 2010, we recognized that supporting the bioscience industry would be vital to the future of our economy,” Gov. Jay Nixon said. “Since then, we have seen tremendous growth in this industry as more and more bioscience companies are choosing to make their home in Missouri, strengthening the state’s reputation as a bioscience powerhouse.”