Mar 8, 2018Compass Minerals open new research facility in Kansas
Compass Minerals Plant Nutrition has expanded its research and development (R&D) capabilities with the opening of a new North American Innovation Center. The 14,000-square foot facility located in the Midwest Bioscience Research Park in Stilwell, Kansas, will feature a 3,400-square foot greenhouse, a growth chamber and 14 acres of field trials.
This is the company’s second innovation center dedicated to support the development of plant nutrition technologies. The first center opened in Iracemopolis, Brazil, in 2017. Recently, the company signaled it would be growing its research and development operations with the hiring of Ryan Bartlett, vice president innovation and product development, previously with Monsanto.
“In the world of agriculture R&D, the lion’s share of funding has consistently gone towards advanced breeding techniques, developing transgenics and crop protection products,” Bartlett said. “We’re working to compound the gains realized with those innovations by developing similar advances in plant nutrition.”
Compass said the center will be staffed by chemists, agronomists, soil scientists, engineers, geologists and plant physiologists.
“We have the ability to go from ideation to formulation to field testing all in the same facility in a very short time,” Bartlett said. “The ability to utilize our South American Innovation Center also provides tremendous advantage for counter-season field testing.”
In addition to relying heavily on input from their agronomists, sales teams and customers as they consider product development, the company said it is also is partnering with leading universities to gather insight on new product concepts.
With the opening of the innovation center, a new website (www.compasscrops.com) has been developed to directly link potential collaborators and innovators to the company. The goal is to make it easier for academia and potential strategic partners to connect with the staff in Stilwell, Kansas, and Iracemopolis, Brazil.
“We believe that our future is to develop next generation, efficient and sustainable crop nutrition products and we’re well on our way,” said Bartlett.