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A facility that is expected to bring jobs to Alabama was celebrated this week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) and Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle were among the dignitaries that attended HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Institute’s new 14,000-square-foot glass greenhouse facility. HudsonAlpha is expected to broaden its biotechnology research in the area of plant biology.

“Today, I cut the ribbon on the HudsonAlpha Greenhouse and Education Learning Labs,” Ivey said on Twitter. “This center will help Alabama farmers tackle challenges associated with 21st-century farming. Folks, Alabama is taking on an even greater role as the leader in scientific innovation."

“For years, HudsonAlpha has been working with Alabama farmers to improve their crops and to make their land sustainable for future generations. The people working in this one-of-a-kind facility will use the power of genomics to strengthen Alabama agriculture, build an ag-focused workforce, and create new economic opportunities for our state.”

“In its most basic sense, simply opening this facility is tremendously exciting for us because of what this building represents,” said Neil Lamb, Ph.D., HudsonAlpha President. “Within these walls, scientific discoveries will unlock solutions to feed, fuel and clothe our world.”

In addition to the work in plant genomics and the education programs, this expansion of the HudsonAlpha campus enables more engagement with AgBio companies.

Economic developer Dr. Nicole Jones attended the groundbreaking for 1819 News.

“Research that goes on at the HudsonAlpha Center for Plant Science and Sustainable Agricultures Greenhouse and Education Learning will have the capacity to transform the field of agricultural genomics, right here in Alabama,” Jones said. “The announcement has microeconomic and macroeconomic implications. A stable food supply is critical to any nation’s survival as well as the ability to maintain status as a superpower, hence the significance for the economies of Alabama as well as the United States."

With this opening, HudsonAlpha’s Center for Plant Science and Sustainable Agriculture will add two new labs and greenhouse space to propagate and grow research plants to improve existing crops, develop new uses for plants, lead more large-scale collaborations and develop low-cost tools and genomic sequencing to link plant genes.

Michael Lynch is the co-founder and CEO, of CHONEX, an innovative agribusiness focusing on nutrient-rich fertilizer and soil health, and also a HudsonAlpha resident associate company.

“This greenhouse facility allows new collaborative opportunities for HudsonAlpha’s amazing plant scientists and companies like CHONEX,” Lynch said. “We are excited to continue our research and development efforts on the HudsonAlpha campus.”

Brasfield & Gorrie served as the general contractor for the project. Fuqua & Partners Architects designed the building.

“As they conduct research, incubate life science entrepreneurs and encourage education, HudsonAlpha is making a difference here in Huntsville, in the [s]tate of Alabama, and beyond. It’s an honor to play a part in building strong communities through constructing these specialized facilities,” said Sara Beth Wilcox, Brasfield & Gorrie Operations manager.

HudsonAlpha is a nonprofit institute where scientists, educators, clinicians and entrepreneurs collaborate and apply genomics to improve the human condition around the globe.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.

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