Empire State Development (ESD) announced that bioperformance company GreenLight Biosciences will construct a pilot plant at a building at Eastman Business Park (EBP). The project will create up to 30 new jobs that will support the production of GreenLight’s RNA-based solutions for the agriculture and healthcare industries. This latest project builds on the continued success story that is the rebirth of EBP in Monroe County. The repurposing of the business park remains a top priority of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC). GreenLight Bioscience expects the project to be completed by the end of 2020.
“New York State’s strategic investments help position cutting-edge science for commercialization and economic growth,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler. “GreenLight Biosciences and its partners are working to create the next generation of environmentally innovative products, which will create jobs and drive economic activity in Rochester and throughout the region.”
The pilot plant will enable GreenLight to bring GreenWorX™, its cell-free biomanufacturing process, to market in order to produce low-cost, high-quality RNA. RNA is a natural molecule found in all living organisms – animals, plants, fungi and humans – that facilitates virtually every biological process of life. The production of RNA through GreenWorX™ will help farmers grow food in a way that is natural and safe by targeting specific pests without harming other species or the environment. GreenLight’s innovations can also be used to accelerate the discovery and commercialization of vaccines and antibody therapies. Founded in 2009, GreenLight Biosciences is headquartered in Medford, Massachusetts, and its research and development efforts are located at Research Triangle Park in North Carolina.
“We are disrupting the industry by bringing nature and technology together to develop sustainable, precise biocontrol solutions, and it’s critical that we continue to build a workforce that can carry these innovations forward,” said Carole Cobb, chief operating officer at GreenLight Biosciences. “Eastman Business Park is particularly attractive to us because of the access to talented scientists and manufacturing experts in the Rochester area as well as the the extensive infrastructure and capabilities of EBP.”
ESD is supporting the project with up to $600,000 through the Excelsior Jobs Program in exchange for job creation commitments. The total project cost has been placed at $16.6 million. Monroe County and Greater Rochester Enterprise also assisted with the project.
EBP, the site where Kodak began manufacturing photographic film and paper more than a century ago, is being reinvigorated and is a significant attraction for businesses of the Finger Lakes region. Today, the campus supports over 114 companies, employing over 6,000 people. EBP is home to Kodak operations and to innovative companies like DuPont, Plug Power, BEST Test and Commercialization Center, LiDestri Food and Drink and Clearwater Organic Farms among several others.
State Senator Joe Robach said, “The addition of GreenLight Biosciences to Eastman Business Park is great news for the Rochester region and the continued growth of our local economy. Eastman Business Park continues to re-invent itself into a national research, innovation and technology hub, attracting new businesses and creating new jobs for our workforce, with GreenLight being the latest to invest in the Rochester community.”
State Assemblyman Peter Lawrence said, “Today’s announcement is another welcome example that businesses are choosing Monroe County due to our highly-skilled workforce and turn-key infrastructure and facilities. Eastman Business Park could not be a more suitable and appropriate location for GreenLight Biosciences which is leading the way in the biomanufacturing industry. This significant investment by the state signals that this project has enormous potential and it is my expectation that GreenLight Biosciences will honor its commitment to creating jobs in the region and reinvesting in our community.”
County Executive Adam Bello said, “Monroe County is the ideal place for a company specializing in green technology to expand. Our innovative workforce, infrastructure, resources and affordability are outstanding. And, just like GreenLight Biosciences, we are committed to doing our part to preserve the planet. We are excited about this pilot plant and the jobs it will bring.”
Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich said, “Greenlight Biosciences is another perfect fit for the growing family of innovative companies making their way to Eastman Business Park. EBP’s formula is working and we’re giving our full support to their efforts to bring new industry, investment, and jobs to the area. Greenlight Biosciences is working to bolster the food and beverage and health care industries, which are among the fastest growing industries in Greece and our neighboring communities. This kind of complementary growth couples EBP’s industrial infrastructure and our skilled workforce, which is a recipe for success. We’ll continue working with economic development partners and prioritizing permits and approvals necessary to bring this project and others like it to fruition.”
Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren said, “I am happy to welcome GreenLight Biosciences to Eastman Business Park, which is providing further evidence that Rochester is the perfect location for high-tech job growth. I want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo and Empire State Development for making this investment in Rochester’s economy through Finger Lakes Forward. Together we are moving forward to create more jobs, safer, more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens.”
Eastman Business Park President and Kodak CFO Dave Bullwinkle said, “We are thrilled that GreenLight Biosciences chose to build their pilot plant here and that they plan to expand operations on the site as they grow. Our resources are a perfect fit for their fermentation operation, with virtually unlimited water, steam, chilled water and industrial sewer capacity.”
Matt Hurlbutt, President and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise said, “The exceptional talent in advanced materials and life sciences, coupled with unmatched infrastructure available at Eastman Business Park, made Rochester, New York, the right location for GreenLight Biosciences. Rochester also offers an affordable cost of doing business, which is a competitive asset when compared with more expensive high-tech markets such as Boston.”
For additional information about GreenLight Biosciences, click here.