Blair, NE — The State of Nebraska and the Greater Omaha Chamber Economic Development Partnership are cheering another successful attraction effort, a multi-million-dollar endorsement of the region’s economic amenities. International biotech company Evolva has announced plans to grow its global operation in collaboration with Cargill’s campus in Blair, Neb.
The Switzerland-based company develops high-value specialty ingredients, including stevia, nootkatone and resveratrol. It is the latest to join a cluster of major producers, including Novozymes, Evonik, Corbion and NatureWorks, with a presence on the Cargill campus.
“Once again, collaboration was the key – Gateway Development Corporation working closely with our economic development partners and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Cargill and the City of Blair to promote the benefits of our region and the Cargill campus. We’re thrilled to welcome Evolva and look forward to seeing the company thrive in our community,” said Lisa Scheve, executive director, Gateway Development Corp., a member of the Greater Omaha Chamber Economic Development Partnership.
“We are excited that Evolva has selected Nebraska to build their global production hub to manufacture their products,” said Courtney Dentlinger, Director of Nebraska Department of Economic Development. “This is an outstanding example of innovative companies like Cargill and Evolva working together to create cutting edge products and high skill jobs in Nebraska.”
Evolva and Cargill are developing the next-generation stevia sweetener EverSweetTM, which will be produced at the Cargill-operated Blair fermentation facility and launched next year. At the same time, Evolva will commence building a state-of-the-art bioprocessing facility on adjacent land leased from Cargill. This facility, operated by Evolva, will manufacture Evolva products, such as nootkatone and resveratrol, starting as early as 2019.
“Nebraska is well suited to helping us build global production for our products, not least because of the state's green energy and renewable feedstock, well-known fermentation talent, and ample room to expand,” said Neil Goldsmith, president of Evolva. “We hope to bring value to the regional bio-based innovation and development network, building infrastructure that will ultimately form a fully integrated commercial-scale bioprocessing hub for the production of sustainable, high-value, next-generation specialty and functional ingredients.”
"We’re excited about the addition of the new fermentation capabilities at our Cargill Blair facility that will allow us to manufacture the game-changing sweetener, EverSweet," said Christy Venne, Cargill Blair facility manager. "Our Cargill Blair campus is truly a biotechnology oasis that attracts companies, like Evolva, who want to join other leading edge companies looking for a skilled workforce and other resources to grow their businesses quickly, safely and effectively.
Over the next three years, principally in 2018 and 2019, Evolva said it expects to invest an estimated $60 million in Blair.