BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO)– A new building aimed at researching and developing bioproducts is coming to the South Dakota State University Research Park.

Work is underway on the new POET Bioproducts Institute, a place to research how low-value agricultural and forestry materials can be transformed into high value bioproducts.

The 45,000 square foot facility is a partnership between POET, SDSU and South Dakota Mines.

Work is underway at the site of the future Poet Bioproducts institute. It’s part of a project that promises to help the South Dakota economy.

“Rather than shipping our raw soybeans and corn out of the state, processing some of them and then shipping the rest out of the state, we’ll be able to transform more of our commodities into high value products here in South Dakota and drive the economic benefit in South Dakota,” said Daniel Scholl, Vice president for research and economic development at SDSU.

“The innovation that’s going to happen over the next decades here in South Dakota and across the Midwest where our bioprocessing facilities are, is going to be unmatched to what’s going to happen anywhere else,” said Jeff Lautt, President and COO of POET.

The project will benefit students looking to go into the industry.

“Students will have a front row seat so to speak in the development of new bioproducts to create or strengthen an economic sector and reach a global marketplace with South Dakota feed stocks,” said Scholl. “Students who have that experience will be able to go into their jobs, into high value employment opportunities with first hand experience with the production type setup.”

“We are blessed to be here in South Dakota where we have access to just a bunch of brilliant minds, people with good work ethic. So we get to work with that next generation of potential team members as well as just tap into some of their creativity to unlock some of the future potential of plant based bioproducts just like we’re doing today here at POET,” said Lautt.

The POET Bioproducts institute is scheduled to open in June of 2023.