Public-private partnership will allow collaboration on next generation of bioproducts.

October 17, 2023

2 Min Read

POET, the world’s largest producer of biofuels and a leader in bioproducts, South Dakota State University, and South Dakota Mines recently celebrated the grand opening of the POET Bioproducts Center.

Through the support of POET, the state of South Dakota, and other members of the Bio Leadership Coalition, the POET Bioproducts Center was constructed at the Research Park at SDSU. The first-of-its-kind innovative ecosystem between students, faculty, and industry partners will allow collaboration on the next generation of bioproducts. The facility and its operating body, Dakota BioWorx, represent a public-private partnership that will enhance research, economic development, and workforce preparation in South Dakota.

“At POET, we’re proud to have been at the forefront of ag and biotechnology innovation for 35 years,” said Jeff Broin, POET Founder and CEO. “We are committed to investing in the next generation of leaders who will pave the way to the ag-based bioeconomy of the future. We have only begun to scratch the surface of what agriculture can do, and this venture will play a vital role in the ability of today’s bright young minds to continue our legacy of ingenuity.”

POET is donating $5 million to the SDSU Foundation to help construct and furnish the 45,000-square-foot facility, which includes several mini-labs and a pilot-scale bioproducts laboratory. POET will be actively involved in the facility, including areas of research, governance, and curriculum development, which will involve establishing courses in bioprocessing with a focus on value-added agriculture and offering academic degrees that include such courses.

“Today, university research continues to impact economic growth in our community through the commercialization of new and innovative ideas to solve real-world problems,” said SDSU President Barry Dunn. “That process requires investments in cutting-edge facilities like the one we are celebrating today, and as we are witnessing, to fully realize the potential of new ideas, universities must engage in public-private partnership. Just as previous generations of leaders envisioned facilities like the POET Bioproducts Center, now our region will have enormous capacities to drive economic growth through applied biotechnology.”

The POET Bioproducts Center and Dakota BioWorx serve as a testament to what is possible when industry expertise, academic excellence, and visionary agriculture converge.

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