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St. Louis gains new life science company, creating 15 new jobs

Israeli biotechnology company Evogene announced plans to establish its U.S. headquarters at the Bio-Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park in St. Louis, Missouri. The company's expansion into Missouri includes a $1M capital investment and is expected to create 15 jobs in the next three years.

Israeli biotechnology company Evogene announced plans to establish its U.S. headquarters at the Bio-Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park in St. Louis, Missouri. The company’s expansion into Missouri includes a $1M capital investment and is expected to create 15 jobs in the next three years.

ST. LOUIS, Mo.—The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) today announced that an Israeli biotechnology company is will establish its U.S. headquarters at the Bio-Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park in St. Louis. Evogene’s expansion to Missouri includes a $1 million capital investment and is expected to create 15 new high-paying jobs in the next three years.

“Home to the largest concentration of plant scientists in the world and the second most farms in the nation, Missouri continues to attract more and more bioscience companies and researchers that work to improve and protect our food,” said Gov. Jay Nixon. “I welcome Evogene to the Show-Me State and look forward to building on Missouri’s reputation as a bioscience powerhouse.”

Evogene is a leading company for the improvement of crop productivity and economics for the food, feed and biofuel industries. The company has strategic collaborations with world-leading agricultural companies, including Missouri-based Monsanto, to develop improved seed traits in relation to yield and a-biotic stress (such as tolerance to drought), and biotic stress (such as resistance to disease and nematodes), in key crops as corn, soybean, wheat and rice, and is also focused on the research and development of new products for crop protection (such as weed control). Expanding to BRDG Park will put Evogene in closer proximity to many of its partner companies, allowing the company better access to research and local talent.

“The establishment of this new facility will clearly take Evogene to a new level in the important area of insect control. We are very proud to join BRDG Park and the innovative community in St. Louis. Being a company that is committed to the improvement of crop productivity, we share the Danforth Center’s belief that plants hold the key to discoveries and products that will enrich and restore both the environment and the lives of people around the globe,” said Ofer Haviv, president and CEO of Evogene.

The state’s robust bioscience industry, comprised of more than 3,500 agribusinesses and life science companies, is fueld by a growing workforce and rich agricultural history. Missouri’s nationally acclaimed institutions of higher education provide Missouri with the largest concentration of plant scientists, with 40 of the state’s colleges and universities offering bachelor’s degrees or higher in biological or biomedical sciences. Additionally, Missouri ranks second in the number of farms in the U.S., providing plant science companies with easy access to suppliers and customers.

Since bioscience was identified in his Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth as a top target for next generation job creation, Gov. Nixon has made attracting investments in these fields a priority of his administration. The state has been a recent recipient of major expansions by companies that advance this industry and create high-paying, next-generation jobs, including Jurox Pty Ltd., KWS, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and Nanova Biomaterials, Inc.

To assist Evogene with its expansion to Creve Coeur, the Missouri Department of Economic Development has offered a strategic economic incentive package that the company can receive if it meets strict job creation and investment criteria. The Missouri Partnership also assisted with the company’s expansion.