Dow AgroSciences Builds R&D Site

Dow AgroSciences breaks ground on a new research and development (R&D) facility as the possibility of a sale of the division becomes less likely, according to sources.

The Zionsville (IN) Times/Sentinel reports:

On Monday, Aug. 17, Dow formally celebrated the groundbreaking of the new Dow AgroSciences R&D facility with Browning Investment. Browning is constructing the building, which is adjacent to Dow AgroSciences’ global headquarters and across the street from Browning’s headquarters. It is located in Northwest Technology Center.

"It’s kind of nice. It’s the first project where we get to watch the building get built right from our headquarters," said John Hirschman, director of real estate development for Browning.

The facility will house approximately 100 research scientists, and Dan Kittle, Dow AgroSciences vice president of research and development, said some interviewing for positions has already been conducted. The structure will include laboratories, office space, and conference rooms.

"These labs will be specifically designed to fully release the talents of our world-class scientists," Kittle said.

Jason Rusk, Browning’s project manager on the building site, said the estimated completion date is May 2010, with Dow occupying the building and being fully operational shortly thereafter.

Several prominent people involved in the venture spoke to those in attendance, including Antonio Galindez, who was making his first public remarks since being named the incoming president and CEO of Dow AgroSciences on July 29.

Galindez, 54, is replacing Jerome Peribere, who is moving to a different division of Dow Chemical, its parent company. Galindez has worked for Dow for 26 years, and was vice president prior to the promotion.

"We at Dow need to continue to recruit the best talent in the U.S. and the world," Galindez said. "In terms of hospitality and quality of life, Indiana is second to none, and we need to have the scientists who come to feel they can raise a family here.

"We are here today because of the scientists who work in our buildings, who have stepped up to the challenge and produced highly valuable products. You are making this happen."

Dow AgroSciences has been the most lucrative and successful division of Dow Chemical Co., with 11 straight quarters of record earnings before a bit of a slump in the second quarter of this year, which it attributed to unusually wet weather in some of its markets.

As a result of the struggles of its parent company, there was talk earlier this year that Dow Chemical was looking to sell the AgroSciences division. However, on July 30, in a conference call with analysts, Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris said that the chances of it selling its division have decreased, although he wouldn’t rule out it out completely.

(Source: Zionsville (IN) Times/Sentinel)

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