Why Illinois?

The future of biomanufacturing is in Illinois


Central Illinois is located at the heart of corn and soybean production.

Our world-class bioprocessing facility is already in an ideal location for connecting to corn and soybean production.  IBRL is within easy reach of some of the highest yield counties for corn and soybeans annually in the United States, with direct access to multiple commercial transportation routes.

A map or corn and soybean production annually by density per county.

Champaign-Urbana and Decatur are part of the Illinois “Ag Tech Corridor.”

Our region actively cultivates AgTech across the value chain: Inputs, Harvesting, Production, Post-Harvest Storage, Commodity Trading, and Processing.  Some facts:

  • Illinois is a leading producer of soybeans, corn and swine (#1 soybean producing state & #2 corn producing state)
  • Illinois is home to more than 71,000 farms, 96% of which are family-owned and a third of which include livestock
  • Agriculture and related industries support 6% of Illinois jobs— that’s more than 482,000 jobs
  • With 2,640 food manufacturing companies, Illinois is well-equipped to turn the state’s crops and livestock into food and industrial products
  • The Chicago metropolitan area contains one of the largest concentrations of food-related businesses in the world

IBRL is part of a top-tier research institution.

The University of Illinois offers over 160 years or research excellence, with a strong record in agricultural research and innovation.  Among the university’ resources:

  • Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL)
  • USDA Rural Development
  • Midwest Inland Port
  • National Foodworks Services
  • Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE)
  • University of Illinois Feed Technology Center
  • EnterpriseWorks
  • Center for Digital Agriculture (CDA) Illinois
    Autonomous Farm
  • The College of ACES, across three departments,
    operates 35 animal units and research units

AgTech is the fastest growing sector in the University of Illinois Research Park, and a key partner in innovation.

Home to Corporate Innovation Centers, 30% are agriculture companies:
• ADM Modeling Center
• AGCO Acceleration Center
• Bayer Crop Sciences
• Cargill Digital Labs
• Corteva and Granular
• CME Group Innovation
• COUNTRY Financial DigitaLab
• Genective
• John Deere Tech Center
• Nutrien – Agrible