A Swiss biotech company will invest $60 million over the next three years in operations in Blair, joining a cluster of other biotech operations there, Nebraska economic development groups said Monday.
Evolva will work with Cargill to produce a stevia sweetener, EverSweet, at Cargill’s fermentation facility. Evolva also will build a bioprocessing facility on Cargill land where it will make its own products, including a citrus extract, Nootkatone, and resveratrol, used in dietary supplements.
Evolva President Neil Goldsmith said Nebraska offered access to renewable ingredients, skilled workers and room to grow.
The company did not say how many jobs it would create in Blair. Asked whether the company received incentives, Lisa Scheve, executive director of Washington County’s economic development arm, said Evolva may choose to apply for state incentives under the Nebraska Advantage program.
Evolva, founded in Switzerland in 2004 and now publicly traded there, calls itself a 21st century brewer, using fermentation to make products to help people improve their health.
It joins several other companies on Cargill’s Blair campus, one of three U.S. locations where Cargill operates biorefineries and offers other manufacturers the opportunity to co-locate through its BIOasis program.
Since the Cargill campus opened in 1995, other companies have located there and created spinoff companies in the area, bringing a total of more than 1,200 jobs, Scheve said. About 500 work at Cargill. Located with Cargill are Corbion, since 1998; Evonik, since 2000; NatureWorks, since 2002; and Novozymes, since 2009, she said.
“Our Cargill Blair campus is truly a biotechnology oasis that attracts companies, like Evolva, who want to join other leading-edge companies looking for a skilled workforce and other resources to grow their businesses quickly, safely and effectively,” said Christy Venne, Cargill’s Blair facility manager.