BRI Grows From Biotech Center Support
Fast-growing Morrisville-based BioResource International is leveraging start-up support from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center by adding jobs in North Carolina and now, adding a manufacturing facility in China.
Starting with a $10,000 business development loan and a 2001 grant from the Biotechnology Center, BRI has expanded to 15 employees at its headquarters location here and just signed an agreement with Taiwan-based Yung Zip Chemical Industrial Co., Ltd. and Yung Shin Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
They’re buying land for the new factory in Tianmen, a city in Hubei Province, China. The plant will be used to produce BRI’s patented enzyme-based natural chicken and pig feed additives that improve nutrition and reduce costs and waste associated with farming operations.
Factory construction to start summer of 2011
Construction is to begin this summer and by 2013 the new factory will begin serving the needs of mainland China. BRI’s North Carolina headquarters will continue to be the center for new product development and innovation and serve the Americas, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
“We are excited to work with our partners and the government of Tianmen,” said Giles Shih, Ph.D., BRI president and CEO. “This project is a great fit with our three-fold strategic plan of investing in strong global partnerships, environmental sustainability and long-term profitable growth."
The company's expansion was helped by a Collaborative Funding Grant, funded through a 15-year partnership of the Biotechnology Center and the William R. Kenan, Jr. Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science at N.C. State.
Grant-funded postdoc helped commercialize NCSU technology
Shih used the Biotech Center grant to hire a post-doctoral fellow to work on a collaborative project between BRI and North Carolina State University, to commercialize its first enzyme for animal feed. It led to a successful patent application for N.C. State, allowed BRI to get more than $300,000 in SBIR grants from the USDA, and helped lay the foundation for the business that is now generating significant income and royalties for BRI and N.C. State.
The company’s products are based on research by Giles’ father, Jason Shih, Ph.D., now retired from a distinguished career as an N.C. State poultry scientist.