The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center announced Friday it has hired four new lead researchers.
Each of the new hires will have a team of at least another 10 scientists working for them, which means the research center could soon add an additional 40 new positions.
Danforth president Jim Carrington says the new scientists will focus on new technologies such as robotics, as well as bolstering the center’s existing research.
"For example, one of our new hires, Becky Bart, is going to very much strengthen our research programs around an important staple plant in developing countries called cassava," he said.
Carrington says the researchers were also chosen with the hope that they will push their research into the marketplace.
"We’re looking for scientists who, when they have a new technology, can help move that into the private sector, sometimes that involves co-founding a start-up company," he said.
Carrington says the center has spun off five start-ups since it was founded in 1998.
The non-profit also is expanding physically. It plans to open a $45 million facility in 2016.
Carrington says with the new space they plan to add another 100 positions.