Department of Economic Development (DED) on October 30 joined Regional Economic Development Inc. (REDI), the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, local leaders, and friends and colleagues of Nanova Biomaterials, Inc. (NBI), to celebrate the grand opening of the company’s new location in Columbia, Mo. The event gave a first look at NBI’s 6,000 sq. ft. $1.5 million facility which includes a research and development lab, production area, and office space. The company is currently expanding its workforce and expects to create up to 50 new jobs within the first five years.
“With more than 3,500 companies making up the state’s bioscience community, this industry continues to be a keystone in the efforts to grow our economy,” said Mike Downing, Acting Director of the Department of Economic Development. “Missouri’s state-of-the-art research centers, incubator facilities, and hospitals, along with a talented workforce help bring more innovations like that of NBI’s from the lab to market.”
Founded in 2007 by a group of four researchers, two of whom are from the University of Missouri, Nanova is an early stage bio technology company that uses nanotechnology to manufacture orthopedic and dental products, such as dental fillings and bone screws. NBI was spun out in 2013 from parent company Nanova Inc., to focus on nanotechnology research which has led to groundbreaking discoveries in the biomaterials industry. Recently approved by the FDA, the company’s StarBright 5% Sodium Fluoride Dental Varnish is now being manufactured at the new facility. As a rapidly growing company with three additional products pending FDA- approval, NBI expects to nearly double the size of its workforce by 2016.
“The establishment of NBI is also a result of an investment of over $7 million lead by SummitView Capital. Besides the support from the University, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Health, Nanova has also been supported by the State, especially the Small Business Technology and Development Center,” said Dr. Li, President of NBI and recipient of the 2009 National Science Foundation Career Award. “Actually our very first grant of $5,000 is a state backed grant, which is how we got started. We highly appreciate the support from local and federal agencies and we are committed to making quality products to serve dentists and doctors and also bring more quality jobs to Missouri.”
“Dr. Hao Li is a great example of a very talented faculty member that is taking his discovery to market,” said Steve Wyatt, Vice Provost for University of Missouri Economic Development. “Dr. Li is now becoming an outstanding entrepreneur with the grand opening of Nanova. At MU, we are so proud of his journey and accomplishment.”
“Today’s ribbon cutting is an important event for Columbia as we continue to build our local economy. The 50 jobs and investment in Nanova Biomaterials, Inc.’s new facility represents the positive economic impact that commercialization of University research can have towards job creation for our community,” said Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid. “NBI further represents the importance of international relationships as much of the investment to support the commercialization of these products has been secured from Chinese investors. The relationship between the company, university, community and China is key to building a strong foundation for continued growth for both NBI and Columbia and we are happy to be a part of this relationship.”
To assist NBI with its expansion, the Department of Economic Development has offered a strategic economic incentive package that the company can receive if it meets strict job creation and investment criteria.