Hormel Institute Expansion Receives Full Funding

Posted at: 07/02/2013 9:47 PM
Updated at: 07/02/2013 10:15 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 News) -- After the Minnesota state legislature allocated $13.5 million in 2012, the Hormel Institute in Austin now has the remainder of the money it'll need to not only double in size, but hire more than 100 world-class scientists.
The Hormel foundation announced Tuesday that it would be contributing $23 million not only to build the new facility, but also to make sure that facility is filled with the best people and the best technology.

It was only a little over five years ago that the Hormel Institute expanded to its current size.

“We were looking at this about five years ago when we were starting the initial phase,” said Jerry Anifinson, treasurer for The Hormel Foundation. “And as soon as we completed that phase we already started looking at phase two."

“Phase two” is a $27 million expansion project that will effectively double the size of the institute.

The expansion will include as many as 20 new labs equipped with state-of-the-art technology to help researchers advance their work.

“By adding 10 to 20 new labs and the scientists that will fill them, we'll just be able to produce more research and come up with more answers to cancer and cancer prevention,” said Gail Dennison with the Hormel Institute.

The new facility will eventually occupy the space now serving as the building's parking lot, and officials said it could create more than 100 jobs for the Austin community.

“In the long run it will add jobs to the institute,” Dennison said. “And that in turn means people that move here, raise their families here."

The Hormel Foundation committed $9.5 million purely to recruit the world's best scientists.

And officials said those recruiting efforts paired with a new facility are sure to attract top-notch talent.

“We’re going to be able to bring more scientists to Austin,” Dennison said. “We're going to be able to produce more cancer research, and with more research, it's more answers."

Officials said they hope to break ground on the project next year, with completion hopefully coming sometime in 2015.