Warren County Plans Greentech Campus to Create Agricultural Biotechnology Cluster
Research Triangle Region, N.C. -- Warren County officials have approved plans to create an agricultural biotechnology cluster of companies and support services on a 100-acre GREENTECH business campus.
The campus itself will be “green,” the first agricultural biotechnology park in the nation powered completely by alternative energy sources – solar and biodiesel.
The new initiative, developed by the Warren County Economic Development Commission (EDC) and approved by the County Board of Commissioners, seeks to capitalize on the agricultural, livestock, human and natural resources of Warren County and surrounding areas to create business and jobs, said EDC Chair Sallie White.
Economic developers plan to attract eight to 12 agriculture and food-related companies over the next five years to create more than 900 jobs. Meanwhile, they have obtained private investment from regional livestock producers and consumers to fund a new certified humane advanced technology meat processing facility. It will be built on the site to serve existing markets and stimulate additional livestock production in north-central North Carolina and Virginia. The new processing plant, which could open in early 2012, would process beef, hogs, sheep and goats, creating 50 jobs in the plant and 500 jobs regionally in the livestock, agriculture supply and transportation industries.
Warren County will develop its GREENTECH campus in concert with a similar campus proposed near Enfield, in neighboring Halifax County. Planners envision the presence of two such campuses in northern North Carolina, adjacent to interstates 85 and 95, will attract local, regional, national and international biotechnology and agriculturally based companies looking to locate in a highly visible industrial cluster. The EDC has been developing plans for the initiative for more than eight months, said EDC Vice Chair John Alston.
“The EDC invites all established companies wishing to relocate or expand with other ag-bio technology entrepreneurs to consider becoming campus residents,” Alston said. “Our park will offer a high-profile, branded green, cleantech environment, providing companies with a range of support services, including product development, manufacturing, marketing, employee training and venture capital.”
Officials are evaluating several sites for the new campus. Its location in Warren County places it within 500 miles of more than 135 million U.S. consumers. The campus will be open to any “green” company working in an area related to agricultural biotechnology. Special opportunities are available for companies in specialty meat processing, biomass energy production, agriculture transportation, bioengineering, high-value pet food, water treatment, micro distillery, and fruit and vegetable processing. The EDC invites interested entrepreneurs and business people to submit ideas and business plans to be considered for financing and location within the new campus.
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Contact: Benny Finch, Warren County Economic Development Commission, (252) 257-3114