Discover more from The Dakota Scout
Bioproducts research center opens in Brookings
POET, S.D. Corn and state of South Dakota chip in to bring POET Bioproducts Center to fruition
BROOKINGS — South Dakota-based POET — the world’s largest producer of biofuels — along with South Dakota State University and South Dakota Mines celebrated the grand opening of the POET Bioproducts Center Wednesday.
With financial support from POET, the state of South Dakota and other members of what’s known as the Bio Leadership Coalition, the POET Bioproducts Center was constructed at the Research Park at SDSU. The first-of-its-kind innovative ecosystem between students, faculty and industry partners will allow collaboration on the next generation of bioproducts. The facility and its operating body, Dakota BioWorx, is a public-private partnership dedicated to research, economic development and workforce preparation in South Dakota, according to project backers.
“At POET, we’re proud to have been at the forefront of ag and biotechnology innovation for 35 years,” said Jeff Broin, POET Founder and CEO. “We are committed to investing in the next generation of leaders who will pave the way to the ag-based bioeconomy of the future. We have only begun to scratch the surface of what agriculture can do, and this venture will play a vital role in the ability of today’s bright young minds to continue our legacy of ingenuity.”
The Dakota Scout is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support a locally owned, operated and printed newspaper, consider becoming a paid subscriber.
POET is donating $5 million to the SDSU Foundation to help construct and furnish the 45,000-square-foot facility, which includes several mini-labs and a pilot-scale bioproducts laboratory. POET will be actively involved in the facility, including areas of research, governance and curriculum development, which will involve establishing courses in bioprocessing with a focus on value-added agriculture and offering academic degrees that include such courses. The facility also got $20 million in legislative funding and $2 million from South Dakota Corn.
“Today, university research continues to impact economic growth in our community through the commercialization of new and innovative ideas to solve real-world problems,” SDSU President Barry Dunn said. “That process requires investments in cutting-edge facilities like the one we are celebrating today, and as we are witnessing, to fully realize the potential of new ideas, universities must engage in public-private partnership.
“Just as previous generations of leaders envisioned facilities like the POET Bioproducts Center, now our region will have enormous capacities to drive economic growth through applied biotechnology,” he added.