Bayer CropScience continued to dazzle observers at its North American and global Seeds headquarters on Tuesday with a grand opening of a $33 million office renovation project while also breaking adjacent ground for a $34 million research greenhouse.

When completed in December 2016, the new 73,500-square-foot Greenhouse 6 will be the third research greenhouse facility on the 124-acre Bayer RTP campus that is getting nearly $150 million in overall investment since the growth spurt started there in 2012.

Greenhouse 5 and Greenhouse 1 are the other two facilities that make up this trio. The 60,000-square-foot Greenhouse 5 opened in 2012 and Greenhouse 1, at 29,500 square feet, is scheduled to open late 2015.

All the RTP projects, along with other Bayer installations and expansions in North Carolina, have been important factors in putting the state at the global forefront of agricultural biotechnology.

“We are proud to continue making investments in Research Triangle Park and around the United States,” said Jim Blome, president and CEO of Bayer CropScience North America. “As we expand our business and grow our research hub in RTP, we further enhance our abilities to make meaningful contributions to farming and modern agricultural production ensuring that we all have enough safe, abundant and affordable food. That’s a job we take seriously.”

The office building renovation, begun in October 2013, enables more than 700 scientists and specialists to work together in LEED certified space that was specifically designed to increase cross-functional collaboration.

“The modern office at our North American Crop Protection and global Seeds headquarters in RTP reflects Bayer’s desire to play a leading role in shaping the future of innovation in the life sciences industry,” said Bayer CropScience CEO Liam Condon.

The office renovation, which Bayer now calls the Modern Office, includes over 200 meeting rooms, a cafe and coffee lounge, a 120-seat conference center, a fitness center, a medical office and an employee store selling Bayer over-the-counter drugs at discount prices.

In keeping with its North Carolina roots, the company is incorporating wall features made from reclaimed wood taken from barns in the Asheville area.

Bayer CropScience is in the throes of $1 billion in capital expenditures in the United States between 2013 and 2016, mainly to ramp up research and development and to expand production of its crop protection brands. That includes a new research greenhouse in Memphis, Tennessee.

The expenditures are part of a $3.3 billion global capital investment program Bayer CropScience started in 2014.

Key investments at the RTP campus since 2012 are:

  • July 2012 – Greenhouse 5 opened, focusing on corn, soy and other broadacre crop research. ($20 million)
  • December 2012 – Land purchase adjacent to the Bayer CropScience RTP headquarters, providing the ability to expand in the future. ($6.2 million)
  • May 2013 – Development North America facilities completed, where scientists conduct crop protection and environmental science research, including pest and turf and ornamentals. ($16.1 million)
  • April 2014 – North American Bee Care Center opened, bringing together resources to support product stewardship, sustainable agricultural and comprehensive solutions for honey bee health. ($2.4 million)
  • September 2014 – Bayer CropScience broke ground on Greenhouse 1, a 29,500-square-foot facility that will complement other Bayer CropScience greenhouse facilities on the RTP site. ($29.6 million)
  • June 2015 – Groundbreaking of Greenhouse 6, a 73,500 square foot research facility on the RTP site. ($34.2 million)
  • June 2015 – Modern Office opens, housing over 700 scientists and specialists, built with many sustainable features. ($33 million)

(C) NC Biotechnology Center

Note: Veteran Jim Shamp is director of public relations for the N.C. Biotechnology Center.