Kemin Industries begins construction on its new research and development facility in Des Moines this week. The state-of-the-art facility will provide 1,215 linear feet of laboratory bench space for approximately 60 scientists.
The new facility includes two general labs, six shared laboratories and three pilot laboratories. The pilot laboratories focus on developing products that can be scaled up in preparation for full-market launch.
“If you want to know what inspires scientists and researchers to do their best work, all you have to do is ask them–and that’s exactly what we did,” said Dr. Chris Nelson, president and CEO of Kemin. “They helped create the design for the new R&D facility which is an open-concept approach and includes shared laboratories. It is the best possible environment for encouraging collaboration and new product breakthroughs.”
Kemin scientists researching and developing products for the feed and food industries as well as the health, nutrition and beauty markets will work in the new building. The existing facility will continue to operate at full capacity with scientists focused on discovery research and pet food.
There are several unique features in the new building, including a sensory lab and test kitchen for the company’s food technologies division. It will also have a test lab for evaluating Kemin molecules in personal care products.
“We are very excited about the new research center at Kemin and the opportunity it will give us to make an even a wider range of products for our customers,” said Will Schroeder, Ph.D., research and development director for the food technologies division. "I am most excited about the test kitchen and sensory labs–the fact that we are making this investment in our research means that Kemin will be positioned for growth in the years to come.”
The new research facility is part of a global expansion plan Kemin announced in October of 2010. Among other things, Kemin will double the size of its headquarters in Iowa. The research facility, which is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2013, will eventually connect to a new global headquarters building. More than 100 scientists gathered in Des Moines this month for a ceremonial groundbreaking of the new facility.