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Breaking ground on phenotyping facility at the University of Illinois Research Park


Greenhouse Groundbreaking
From left: James Potts, Senior Finance Manager at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Steve Long, Director of the RIPE project; Susan Martinis, Interim Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Illinois; Joe Cornelius, Director of Global Development at the Gates Foundation; and Adam Davis, Head of the Department of Crop Sciences at Illinois

Representatives from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation broke ground Wednesday, October 23 on a new, state-of-the-art phenotyping at Research Park. 

The planned facility will support a research project, “Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency” (RIPE) for sustainable increases in crop yield, led by Illinois researchers Steve Long and Don Ort. RIPE is funded by the Gates Foundation, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, and the UK Government’s Department for International Development.

The modern plant phenotyping facility joins a growing agtech cluster in the Research Park that includes major global seed companies, equipment manufacturers, retailers, and bioprocessing leaders. 



“The RIPE project is a spectacular example of the way Illinois is leading forward to sustainably feed our growing global population," said Kim Kidwell, Dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). "Advancements in the digital agriculture space, including this phenotyping facility and our new Center for Digital Agriculture, are needed to make that goal a reality. We’re grateful to the Gates Foundation, as well as Drs. Long and Ort, for their commitment."



Located on Fourth Street, just south of St. Mary’s Road, the building will be owned by the University of Illinois and operated by the College of ACES in collaboration with the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. Fox/Atkins Development will construct the greenhouse, with September 2020 as the projected completion date.

Construction Update:

The aerial video below showcases the construction progress on the High-Throughput Phenotyping Facility as of May 04, 2020. 


By: Research Park

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