New plant science research facility could house more than 300 jobs
By Catherine Wolf, KWMU
St. Louis, MO –
The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center opened a new four-story, $36 million research building on its Creve Coeur campus on June 16. The Bio-Research and Development Growth (BRDG) Park will be an incubator for fledgling plant and life sciences companies, and will provide lab space for established companies like Monsanto.
Park President Sam Fiorello said the building is the first of three the center hopes to open at the site in the next seven years. He said about 300 new jobs will be created by opening it, and subsequent buildings will bring more.
"That will translate into about 1,100 jobs. The average salary for an employee in a research park like this is $70,500. Those are real jobs, really good income and sustainable jobs. They're jobs for the future."
Fiorello said researchers will be able to collaborate with scientists at the Plant Science Center and use its technical equipment.
St. Louis Community College also will train bio-technicians at the park.
Plant Science Center President Roger Beachy said students could go on to get jobs at the center or at the research companies.
"We want them to stay in the region and having us right near them and have companies very near to where their teaching laboratories are and their classrooms would seem to be a great opportunity for them and for those of us who use the workers."
The park's first company moves in this week.