North Carolina Economic Development Guide


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We are the World North Carolina���s global reach brings home investments and jobs. Griffin Davis By D. Lawrence Bivins T he construction site is visible through the pine trees that stand in this corner of Research Triangle Park. Men in hard hats operate backhoes and swing cranes inside safety fencing. But taking shape at the property owned by Syngenta Biotechnology Inc. near the intersection of Davis Drive and Interstate 40 is nothing typical. In fact, the 147,000-square-foot complex of greenhouses and ���growth chambers��� may have global impact. It is here top scientists will soon unite around a common challenge ��� how to feed the 9 billion humans expected to populate the planet by 2050. ���The new facility will be a space where we can carefully monitor and study how plants respond to various stimuli,��� says Steven Goldsmith, director of corporate affairs at Syngenta Biotechnology, a unit of Basel, Switzerland-based Syngenta International AG. ���This is relevant to parts of the world that are drought-stricken, for example.��� The company���s pioneer- ing research aims to make food crops more resource effcient and thus their cultivation possible in conditions that are less than ideal. Syngenta unveiled its selection of the 50-acre tract at RTP in May 2011 after considering comparable agriculturaltechnology clusters in Asia, Europe and South America. ���As a global company we have people and relationships with other facilities all around the world,��� Goldsmith says. ���We looked at all those regions for where we could get a new facility up and running as quickly as possible at the right budget and with access to the right kinds of people and technologies.��� Convinced North Carolina was where that could happen, it broke ground in 2011 on the $71 million complex, which it expected to be completed by the end of 2012. Syngenta, with overseas roots and global branches, is not alone as a symbol of North Carolina���s increasingly cosmopolitan economy. While the state���s motto remains Esse Quam Videri (���To be, rather than to Top, Syngenta chose to build its new complex of greenhouses at Research Triangle Park over locations in Europe and Asia. Bottom, the company uses technology to increase crop yields. North Carolina Economic Development Guide 21

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