State Senators Chapin Rose and Andy Manar are sponsoring legislation that would grow Illinois’ bio-based economy by offering incentives to companies to produce and sell renewable products.

Senate Bill 1656 would provide tax credits to businesses that invest in new renewable products made from biomass and other renewable sources.  Universities and private companies are research and development to bring these products to the marketplace.  Rose says Illinois’ strong agricultural base makes us perfect for this industry.

“This legislation is all about the jobs that will be created in this potential $20 billion new industry,” Rose says.  “Central Illinois is perfectly suited to be the center of this new industry with the production and shipping capacity in Decatur on one side, the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Lab (IBRL) in Urbana on the other side, and the best corn and beans in the world in between.  The potential for jobs is here – we have something no one else has to offer.”

The legislation follows Rose’s leadership in securing a $26 million research investment in the University of Illinois’ IBRL to work with the biotechnology sector.  Manar, too, believes Illinois can be a leading state in this sector.

“Illinois is strategically positioned to lead in the development of these new renewable products,” he explains.  “We have leading biotechnology companies, large and small, that are leading research and development efforts on these innovative products and we have critical mass in infrastructure to produce and transport these renewables around the world.”

Industrial Biotechnology is enabling the production of a new generation of renewable chemicals, biobased materials, and bioplastics.  These materials can serve as a replacement or supplement to traditional fossil fuel-based chemicals and products.

Iowa and Minnesota have already established similar incentives and legislation is pending in Congress to establish a similar credit at the federal level.

Originally posted on NowDecatur.com