Bioprocessing lab at UI could produce thousands of jobs

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Decatur, Ill (WAND) – The University of Illinois is close to completing a new integrated bioprocessing research lab (IBRL) which could potentially add thousands of jobs to the central Illinois economy over the next decade.

“This is a multi-million-dollar opportunity in bioprocessing,” said State Senator Chapin Rose, (R) Mahomet, at a state senate hearing on Thursday.  “You’re talking about potentially thousands of jobs created over the next ten years in this sector.”

Research at the $32 million lab will use corn and soybeans to convert petroleum-based chemicals into green chemicals.  It is hoped there will be an $85 billion market for the conversion to green chemicals.  It will be a boost for agri-business along the I-72 corridor from Decatur to Champaign. 

“Playing off of Decatur’s Tate and Lyle and ADM and the Midwest Inland Port having the IBRL opened is going to support that infrastructure and of course agriculture around the state,” Rose stated.

University of Illinois – Urbana campus Chancellor Robert Jones told lawmakers the bio lab will be a state of the art facility. 

Senator Rose and Senator Andy Manar met with representatives of Tate & Lyle and ADM earlier this week to discuss the lab.  

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