ADM opens tech center at University of Illinois Research Park

The war in Ukraine, the on-going pandemic, rise in inflation and climate change have led to over 300 million people living on the brink of starvation said the Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program David Beasley. As fertilizer becomes more difficult to manufacture and export, countries in Africa and Asia are unable to harvest typical quantities of food. “The world produces enough food to feed everybody on the planet, over 7.7 billion people,” Beasley said. “50% of that food is because of fertilizer, so if you don’t have fertilizer, you can’t have harvest at the yields that you need.” Climate change is a compounding factor, contributing to droughts and famine in numerous countries he said. “We’re looking at $11 billion shortfall of food production inside Africa alone. Now, I can go to Central America, South America, same issues on droughts. India devastated by heat and drought, and I can go on and on.” Beasley spoke to the Associated Press in the U.N. Rose Garden outside of the headquarters in New York during the 77th General Assembly.

CHAMPAIGN — Archer Daniels Midland Co. is expanding its research efforts with a new technology center at the University of Illinois. 

The company on Friday celebrated the grand opening of the new ADM Science and Technology Center at the University of Illinois Research Park. 

According to a joint press release from ADM and the University of Illinois, the new facility “quadruples ADM’s footprint at the University of Illinois Research Park.”

ADM’s previous research endeavors included process and financial modeling, as well as business intelligence and business development. 

The new center will allow for additional studies, including human nutrition research and development, wet chemistry, sensory science, data science, computational fluid dynamics and customer interface and applications. 

“Our partnership with the University of Illinois has been a win for ADM, the university and its students, as well as the industries in which ADM operates, and we are so excited about this new facility and the future of our collaboration,” said Todd Werpy, senior vice president and chief science officer at ADM. 

According to ADM and the university, the new center will create opportunities for students in a variety of academic programs, including chemical engineering, computer science, food science, agricultural economics, animal science and business. 

“The new ADM Science and Technology Center at Research Park is a tangible outcome of the depth and breadth of our institutional strategic partnership,” said Robert J. Jones, chancellor of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 

“An alliance of this scale and scope is critical to the future of our region and our state,” Jones continued. “It also provides unique experiential learning opportunities for our students, which is critical for preparing our future workforce. It also further cements our campus and community as an epicenter of agtech.”

ADM first opened at Research Park in 2007, with an original focus on computational work, conceptual engineering and modeling to evaluate the feasibility of manufacturing specialty chemicals. 

Contact Taylor Vidmar at (217) 421-6949. Follow her on Twitter: @taylorvidmar11. 

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