PlantResponse, saying it recognizes the growing emergence of RTP and North Carolina as an agricultural industry hub, picks the Triangle for its North American headquarters. And the company is hiring.

The move comes after Tom Snipes was named recently as the firm’s CEO.

Snipes, a University of South Carolina graduate, has more than 25 years of experience in the agricultural industry, including posts at United Agri Products, the Cerexagri organization, Diamond R retail and Koch Industries. He worked most recently at Pinnacle Agricultural Organization.

“I’m excited to lead this company as we expand into the U.S. and deliver new and innovative products to help farmers manage stress conditions in the field, including drought tolerance, disease resistance and nutrient utilization,” Snipes said when named to the job.

PlantResponse says its commercial, supply chain, produce management and sales teams will be based in the Triangle.

“Opening an office here in the Research Triangle is well aligned with our current growth strategy,” Snipes said in a statement.

“Raleigh is well-known as a global hub for agricultural innovation technology, making this the perfect epicenter for our North American operations.”

Where the office will be located remains to be determined.

The firm is searching for permanent space. Currently, PlantResponse is leasing temporary space at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center through the Center’s Landing Padprogram. The program helps newly arrived bioscience companies establish a presence in the state by providing prime office space and professional services.

NCBiotech staff “have been absolutely wonderful to work with and continue to be,” Snipes told NCBiotech writer Barry Teater. “They did a great job of facilitating introductions and identifying infrastructure in the area.”

The firm has some 20 employees, most of whom are based in Spain. It has begun hiring for the North American office. “Snipes said the company’s workforce would likely double in the next 18 to 24 months, split evenly between North Carolina and Spain,” Teater reported.

The company is currently field testing a variety of products focusing on:

  • plant-innate immunity
  • drought and stress tolerance
  • nutrient use efficiency.

“This location will help us focus in on areas of concern to North American growers in our research and field work,”
Snipes explained. “We’ll be working on adapting our proprietary solutions for management of plant disease, stress and drought conditions for this market.”

PlantResponse launched in March 2008 as a Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) spin-off.

Note: This story has been updated to correct the name of the company.