Construction already has started at the company's headquarters in Indianapolis. The company expects to open a 14,000 square-foot greenhouse this year, followed by a 175,000 square-foot research facility in early 2012.
The subsidiary of Midland, Mich.-based Dow Chemical Co. produces agricultural products such as seeds and pesticides. It has moved heavily into biotechnology research in recent years to develop new products.
Antonio Galindez, president and CEO of Dow AgroSciences, said the company was boosting its research-and-development efforts in order to meet the need for increased food production worldwide.
"The key thing is the world population is growing, needing more food, higher quality food," Galindez said. "The expectation is we need to grow our food yields by 70 percent in the next 40 years."
Dow AgroSciences currently has about 1,200 workers in Indianapolis and plans to add the additional employees — mostly in scientific and commercial positions — by 2015.
Gov. Mitch Daniels joined city and company officials at Thursday's announcement, saying the expansion was the type of economic development project that any state would want.
"This expansion makes Indiana a true world capital of agricultural science," Daniels said.
Dow AgroSciences was formed in 1989 as a joint venture between the Elanco Plant Sciences business of Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. and Dow's agricultural products division. Dow acquired complete ownership in 1997.<