The seeds for the St. Louis biotech boom began as early as 1998 when St. Louis leaders recognized a perfect confluence of key ingredients for growth in plant and life sciences: the geographic location in the nation’s cropland; an abundance of scientific research institutions, including Washington University, St. Louis University and the Columbia and St. Louis campuses of the University of Missouri; and many successful scientific companies such as Monsanto, Sigma-Aldrich, Novus and Covidien.
Condensed from the State of the Center report to the community.
When we started, I dreamed, perhaps romantically, that our center would be part of a major human adventure of the 21st century. We would try to make the most of the wonderful human desire to know how the world really works, in our case how plants really work. This drive to understand, shaped through its evermore powerful modern offspring, science, can help hold off potential environmental disaster. In doing so, we hoped also to bring benefits and perhaps even a little credit to our home community.
Last summer’s drought in the United States, and particularly here in the Midwest, would lead one to ask if there is enough water to meet the world’s needs. According to Dr. Roberto Lenton, Professor of Biological Systems Engineering and Executive Director of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, the answer is “yes.”
Quinn and lawmakers reach deal on state facilities
A budget deal reached among Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and lawmakers will save seven state facilities and the jobs at those locations, at least for now. The plan won General Assembly approval Tuesday. Quinn had targeted a handful of developmental centers, prisons and psychiatric hospitals for shutdown after the legislature failed to provide enough money to keep them operating.
Quinn’s budget director, David Vaught, says the deal to shift money in the budget is a better solution…
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon was in St. Louis again Tuesday touting the state's growing biotech sector and says a new package of economic incentives will continue to bring more hi-tech jobs to the state.
Nixon was in St. Louis County to welcome SyMyCo, the latest tenant of BRDG Park, the research and development wing of the Danforth Plant Science Center.
The company's President Mike Amaranthus says $1 million in quality jobs tax credits as well as a $250,000 low-interest loan were a key part of their decision to locate in Missouri.
Algae, that very same stuff that turns aquarium walls and backyard fences green, are also a potent source of energy, and hold significant potential as a clean, renewable fuel source. Algae were first investigated as a source of energy back in the 1970’s when high gas prices prompted an interest in alternative energies and the US Department of Energy created the Aquatic Species Program. That program was discontinued in 1996, but as oil costs have continued to rise and energy independence has reemerged as a national priority, researchers around the world, and many right here in St. Louis, are again focused on the potential of algal biofuels.