June 25 (Reuters) - Chemical conglomerate DuPont said on Tuesday that it is expanding its research into new products for food, agriculture and alternative energy, opening a new “innovation center” in Iowa.
The innovation center, which joins a chain of international locations, is aimed at using its global network of scientific research to more quickly come to market with “local solutions,” DuPont Chief Executive Officer Ellen Kullman said in a statement.
DuPont, which had sales of $34.8 billion last year, is racing rivals to roll out new products for food and energy needs for a growing global population.
The new innovation facility is located in Johnston, Iowa, home to DuPont’s Pioneer Hi-Bred business unit, which focuses on agricultural products. It is the 12th developed by DuPont and the second for the company in the United States. Others are located in Michigan, and in Turkey, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, India, Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Switzerland.
The opening of the innovation center comes as DuPont is also planning to break ground on a $38 million expanded research facility in Johnston later this year. The 180,000-square-foot expansion will house about 400 of about 4,000 DuPont Pioneer research employees.
As well, DuPont is pushing ahead with a $200 million cellulosic ethanol plant in Iowa that should be completed in 2014 and have the capacity to generate 30 million gallons of biofuel annually from corn stover residues.