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Dow Agro plans 'major' expansion announcement

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Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard are expected to be on hand for what officials are caling a "major life sciences expansion" announcement Thursday morning at Dow AgroSciences headquarters.

The company, a subsidiary of Midland, Mich.-based giant Dow Chemical Co., declined to share details about its plans in advance of the press conference, but Dow AgroSciences spokeswoman Kenda Resler Friend said the event is “more significant than what we announced last summer.”

Last July, the company signed a 15-year lease for a newly constructed 80,000-square-foot research and development building adjacent to its headquarters in the northwestern corner of Indianapolis. At the time, Dow AgroSciences pledged to hire dozens of additional researchers to staff the new facility. Dow Agro employs about 1,200 locally.

The Indianapolis operation is poised for significant growth, and has been touting its plans to double research and development investment by 2012. In a Feb. 10 speech to the Goldman Sachs Agricultural Biotech Forum in New York, Dow AgroSciences CEO Antonio Galindez said Dow AgroSciences anticipates launching five new agrochemical products by 2012. The products will generate more than $800 million in new sales, he said.

For example, Sulfoxaflor, a new insecticide, has a projected 2012 launch and will be the first biotechnology product in a $2 billion market. This year, Dow AgroSciences will launch SmartStax, the world’s first nine-gene seed trait combination for corn growers. The company says it can increase crop yields by up to 10 percent by protecting them against herbicides and bugs.

“We are ramping up or planning to launch five new products,” Galindez told the New York audience. “When you consider it takes more than $180 million and nine to 10 years to bring a new molecule to market, you can see our R&D machine is really rolling.”

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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