A company that is developing enhanced crops for use in the production of ethanol is coming to Kansas.
Edenspace is moving to Junction City from its current headquarters and operations center in Dulles, Va., the company announced Monday.
The relocation will be expected to create 30 professional jobs in agricultural biotechnology and renewable energy.
A new 20,000-square-foot center will be built in Junction City, anchoring the new Tom Neal Technology Park at the western edge of town. The building will be designed to accommodate a future expansion of 20,000 square feet.
Edenspace officials expect the new center to allow the company to complete development of Energy Corn, a product designed to double the yield-per-acre of crops used to produce ethanol. The goal is to reduce costs of ethanol production and boost profits for farmers and ethanol producers.
Junction City and Kansas were selected from a field of more than 12 potential sites to accommodate Edenspace's offices and operations, said Bruce Ferguson, company president.
"The major factors in our decision were Kansas' strong support for agricultural biotechnology and Junction City's drive and determination to create an important technology center," Ferguson said, in a statement. "We believe that our new Junction City facility and development team will help to accelerate introduction of crucial new products for the ethanol industry."
Edenspace isn't the only biotechnology company to call Junction City home. Last year, Ventria Bioscience announced that it would open a bioprocessing center in Junction City for genetically engineered rice, for use in medications to treat diarrhea in children.
"I'm thrilled Edenspace decided to locate in Kansas," said Adrian Polansky, the state's secretary of agriculture, in a statement. "It highlights the powerful synergy that exists between our longstanding agricultural traditions, advances in the biofuels industry and the growing bioscience presence in Kansas."
Working to recruit such companies are KansasBio, the Kansas Bioscience Authority, Kansas Technology Enterprise Corp. and the Kansas departments of agriculture and commerce, officials said.
In October, Edenspace announced that it had received $1.926 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to finance development of corn hybrids optimized for production of cellulosic ethanol.