The Durham County Board of Commissioners will consider up to $225,000 in incentives Monday night for SBI, the biotech research division of Switzerland-based Syngenta Global.
SBI is headquartered in RTP where it employs about 400 people on a 200,000 square-foot main campus. It is planning a $71 million expansion of its research and development operations and is considering sites in China, Singapore and Brazil, as well as Durham County, according to agenda materials for Monday's meeting.
"If Durham County is selected, the project will mean a $71 million investment in our local economy," according to the materials. "Company officials have stated that incentives from the local government are a key consideration in its final decision on locating the expansion, particularly considering that costs in overseas markets are lower that expansion costs is Durham."
Durham County staff is recommending that the county approve the incentives.
SBI researchers use a combination of science and cutting-edge technology to develop innovative solutions that help meet the world's changing needs for food, feed, fuel and fiber, according to its website. SBI was founded by leading researcher, Mary-Dell Chilton, and first opened its doors in 1984.
In addition to SBI, the sister site, Syngenta Biotechnology China Co. Ltd. (SBC) was opened in Beijing in 2008. It is the first foreign-funded agricultural biotech research institution in China, according to the website. SBC specializes in early research of agronomic traits for key crops such as corn and soybean and focuses on yield improvement, water optimization, disease control and biomass conversion for biofuels.