HOLLY SPRINGS – Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies is moving full speed ahead with its new $2 billion facility in Holly Springs, which the company has said will be the largest end-to-end biologics production facility globally upon its completion.
The investment involves constructing the facility in Holly Springs, and to staff the new plant, the company will hire 725 positions that pay an average salary of just under $100,000, it said. A formal groundbreaking ceremony took place Thursday.
“Today we celebrated a significant milestone of bringing this new site closer to reality, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our partners, and our current employees. We are now looking into the future as we build a facility that will further allow us to fulfill Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies’ core purpose to produce life-impacting medicines in partnership with our customers,” Chief Executive Martin Meeson said at the event. “With the strong embrace of our public and private partners in North Carolina, we are excited to add 725 new members to our team over the next several years. We will be doing all of this in a facility that is designed and built with sustainability as its core in alignment with Fujifilm’s Sustainable Value Plan 2030*.”
Meeson said Holly Springs was picked for the plant, which is expected to open in 2025, because the town, and all of North Carolina, for that matter, have been “purposeful” in creating a foundation to support the biotechnology industry.
WRAL TechWire spoke with company representatives ahead of the groundbreaking. Our interview, lightly edited for clarity, appears below.
TW: The company currently employs 1,220 in the United States – where are these current employees based at this time? Is the company bringing other existing employees to the new facility – how many – how soon?
Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies operates facilities in in RTP, North Carolina, and College Station, Texas. The new facility will bring 725 jobs new jobs. We may bring employees from other Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies sites to Holly Springs based on project needs. This is still being defined.
Our investment represents true collaboration and partnership at the local and state level, and we are confident that the new facility will create a high quality of life for all residents in Holly Springs.
TW: What’s the total value of the economic incentive package received by the state of North Carolina?
The Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies’ project in North Carolina will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee.
Over the course of the 12-year term of this grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by $5.5 billion. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $19,724,250, spread over 12 years, based on a required capital investment of $1.5 billion.
TW: Why the location was selected, and where else geographically was considered?
We considered several locations across the country during the site selection process. Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies selected Holly Springs for its strong pool of technical talent, local resources and partners with the right competencies, clean energy resources and sustainability for future growth.
Holly Springs researched the needs of life science companies and took that knowledge to create the highest-ranked industrial site in Wake County through strategic investments in water, sewer, and road infrastructure. Holly Springs has developed one of the most robust reclaimed water systems in the state, which not only saves businesses money, but enables them to incorporate environmentally sustainable practices into daily operations.
The new site is also strategically important to accelerate the growth of Fujifilm’s biopharma contract development and manufacturing business. With an existing facility in Morrisville, North Carolina, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies is committed to continuing our strong collaboration with state and local officials, which we have cultivated over the years. We look forward to making significant contributions to North Carolina’s biotech region for generations to come.
TW: What’s the state of the talent market in the Triangle. How do you plan to recruit, train, and/or prepare people for these roles and for careers in the industry?
Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies values the strong relationships we have developed and cultivated over the years with academic and university partners in North Carolina including N.C. State, Wake Technical Community College, the North Carolina Community College System, UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University and North Carolina Central University.
Wake Technical Community College will take the lead on training new employees at our Holly Springs facility. Wake Tech has also offered temporary space at its Morrisville campus to help conduct hiring and training. N.C. State will provide customized workforce training at its Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center, in addition to other workforce development partnerships.
We appreciate their tremendous support and rely on our university research partners to build a highly skilled pool of talent-ready individuals who can immediately contribute their expertise to the life sciences industry.
We also recognize that collaboration is key to our collective success. We look forward to continuing to work with our academic partners to identify opportunities to expand the candidate pool and improve workforce readiness to meet the ever-increasing demand for biopharma manufacturing talent.
TW: What else is important to note about the facility, about these jobs, that we haven’t discussed at this time?
This is the largest life sciences investment ever made in North Carolina and further positions Holly Springs, Wake County and Research Triangle Park as a world-class location for biotech companies.
We are pleased that sustainability will be at the core of the facility, which targets 100% clean energy utilization, cutting-edge waste disposal and recycling.
There has never been a more exciting or promising time for the life sciences. This last year and a half has shown us the power of what’s possible when the private and public sector join together to solve big problems.
Once the facility is operational in 2025, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies will develop, produce, package and ship the next-generation therapeutics.