Photo: Gov. Ricketts joins executives from Evonik, DSM, and Veramaris to cut a ribbon in celebration of Veramaris’ new production site in Blair.

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts visited Blair to attend the grand opening celebration of Veramaris’ new production plant.

“Veramaris’ innovative production of omega-3 fatty acids from natural algae is a breakthrough in animal nutrition and a welcome addition to our ag community,” said Governor Ricketts.  “The company’s decision to do business in Nebraska is a testament to our state’s reputation as a great place for bioscience firms to invest and to grow.”

A joint venture between German-based Evonik and DSM of the Netherlands, Veramaris is a bioscience company that is revolutionizing feed nutrition.  Its state-of-the-art Blair facility will produce omega-3 fatty acids for animal nutrition through the cultivation and fermentation of natural marine algae.  Traditionally, omega-3 production has relied on fish oil obtained from live-caught fish.  Veramaris’ breakthrough procedure—which harnesses dextrose from Nebraska corn—will satisfy industrial feed demands, particularly in aquaculture (fish farming), while conserving oceanic biodiversity.

Veramaris’ $200+ million investment in Blair adds to Nebraska’s growing resume of success in recruiting bioscience innovators to the state.  Today, the Cornhusker State is home to over 1,000 bioscience companies, which cumulatively employ more than 16,000 Nebraskans.  In 2017 alone, Nebraska attracted over half-a-billion dollars in new bioscience investments.

Nebraska’s success in the bioscience sector is attributable to an array of factors, including growers’ prolific output of agricultural commodities like corn, soybeans, and other ingredients essential to biofuel production.  State legislators and public sector stakeholders have also devoted considerable energy into creating a climate where bioscience firms can grow and thrive.  The Biotech Connector at Nebraska Innovation Campus and the 2017 Bioscience Innovation Act are two prominent examples of initiatives that have powered the industry’s rapid growth in the state.

“Nebraska offers some of the best strategic business advantages in the country for bio industry firms and startups,” said Department of Economic Development Director Dave Rippe.  “It’s no surprise that our state is attracting the attention of some of the world’s most innovative companies, like Veramaris.  Our goal moving forward is to keep nurturing that momentum to grow the economy and create incredible job and career opportunities for our people.”

Today’s Veramaris grand opening coincides with the Governor’s weeklong victory tour to thank businesses that contributed to Nebraska’s third consecutive Governor’s Cup award.  Site Selection magazine presented the Governor’s Cup to Nebraska in March for having once again achieved the most economic development projects per capita in the nation.  Veramaris’ investment in Blair helped Nebraska capture the 2017 Governor’s Cup.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was followed by a tour of the new Veramaris factory in Blair.