By St. Louis Business Journal

The U.S. Department of Commerce awarded St. Louis County Economic Council and Donald Danforth Plant Science Center a $4.6 million grant to expand plant and life sciences in St. Louis County.

The St. Louis County Economic Council said it would use some of the money to develop a pre-feeder incubator, called the Helix Center, while $2 million will be allocated to the Danforth Center to build a new greenhouse.

The Helix Center, located at 1100 Corporate Square, in close proximity to Bio-Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park at the Danforth Center, Nidus Center and Monsanto, will support the growth of early-stage companies in the plant and life science industry by providing affordable office and lab space and access to expertise, amenities and specialized support.

The greenhouse will support the research needs of the plant and life sciences at progressive stages from the earliest research to commercialization, the point at which innovation becomes concrete business technology. Technology products include the areas of crop stability, bio-fuels, bio-renewable products and pharmaceuticals. The greenhouse will serve scientists at the Danforth Center, entrepreneurs and early-stage companies locating at the Helix Center, and young, growth companies locating at BRDG Park.

â¿¿The badly needed greenhouse will provide additional critical infrastructure needed to advance the research at not only the Danforth Plant Science Center but also BRDG Park and the region's plant science hub," Danforth Center Chief Operating Officer Sam Fiorello said in a statement.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals
Copyright 2010