DED announces bio tech startup to expand in Columbia, expected creation of 50 new jobs

The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) today announced that Nanova Biomaterials, Inc., (NBI), an early stage bio technology company in Columbia, is expanding its operations. The company’s expansion project includes a $1.5 million capital investment and is expected to create 50 new jobs within the first five years.

“High tech startups, like NBI, are making huge waves in our state’s economy, creating new jobs and new opportunities,” said Mike Downing, Acting Director of the Department of Economic Development. “The Department is happy to support NBI’s current expansion and we look forward to seeing what’s sure to be impressive results from this young technology company.”

NBI is a research and development company that uses nanotechnology to manufacture orthopedic and dental products, such as dental fillings and bone screws. Nanova Inc, the parent company, was founded in 2007 by a group of four researchers, two of whom are from the University of Missouri. Utilizing grants and venture capital funding, NBI was spun out in 2013 to focus on nanotechnology research which has led to groundbreaking discoveries in the biomaterials industry and launched the company’s expansion.

“Mid Missouri has been a great place to launch a tech startup,” said Dr. Hao Li, President of NBI. “Missouri’s innovative economic toolkit has made the state a go-to place for startups, and being in close proximity to the University of Missouri, a prominent research institution, we’ve had access to extensive resources and world-class talent.”

“In my role of supporting Dr. Li and his team in the commercialization of MU technology, it has been an honor to work with a group that understands how people’s lives can be improved through science,” said Dr. Jim Gann, Director of Technology Business Development for the University of Missouri’s Small Business Technology and Development Center. “Dr. Li demonstrates a level of business knowledge uncommon for a scientist, and I am certain that with his leadership Nanova will grow to be a significant business within the state.”

“Here we have a cutting-edge company that is using local research and innovative technology to establish a local plant that will hire local employees to produce value-added biomedical products for an international audience,” Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid said. “This is a wonderful example of leveraging intellectual property from the University to create jobs and awareness that Columbia and Missouri are an exciting place to do business.”

To assist NBI with its expansion, the Department of Economic Development has authorized a strategic economic incentive package that the company can receive if it meets strict job creation and investment criteria.