Another state-of-the-art tool added to UI belt

"Something no one else in the world has to offer"

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS - UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- 20,000 new jobs could potentially be coming to the state. Construction will resume for a $26 million bio-processing research lab on the UI campus.

It was delayed when the state failed to pass a budget, but with the help of the stop-gap, things will be starting back up.

It started in the fall of 2014. The state-of-the-art research lab was put on hold during the state budget crisis. Tuesday, leaders announced they've gotten the go-ahead to move forward with construction.

"We can complete the construction on this building."

It's something many in the state have been waiting to hear.

"It was stuck in construction last year with the state budget mess."

State Senator Chapin Rose (R) says plans are moving forward for the Integrated Bioprocessing Reseach Lab (IBRL) at UI.

"We have something no one else in the world has to offer."

Things were left like this when the state failed to pass a budget. Since then, officials have been waiting to hear some good news.

"Here you've got the IBRL, the greatest brain power anywhere in the world."

It will be a lab used to process bio-products; things like corn and soybeans.

"To generate economic activity to the translation of research in industrial bio-tech."

Professor Vijay Singh will be the director when construction is finished. He says he looks forward to the opportunities it will bring.

"We expect lots more technologies will be developed and we can showcase the technologies that we already have disclosures on and lead to a lot of commercialization of technology."

Rose says this lab is key to economic growth throughout the state.

"20,000 potential jobs to be created in this field over the next several years, over the next decade."

And could help pull the state out of its rut.

"This is, by the way, how we get of of this mess in Illinois. We get out of it by growing our economy and we grow it organically, pun intended!"

The field for this kind of research isn't going anywhere.

"Right now, the renewable chemical market is $45 billion and, in about four or five years, it's expected to reach $85 billion."

No word when the project will be completed. Meetings are still being held to decide when it could be.

The decision was also made in Decatur because ADM and Tate and Lyle are top-flight research labs. Also, Midwest Inland Port has 100 million customers within ten hours of the city.

Officials from Piatt, Macon and DeWitt counties came out for the announcement.

 

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