Situated just a few hundred feet from the banks of the Brandywine River where DuPont was founded more than 200 years ago, scientists at the Experimental Station have developed some of DuPont’s biggest innovations — from nylon to insulating wrap Tyvek and bullet-proof Kevlar.
With that history as a backdrop, scientists at the 150-acre site are still trying to develop the next great DuPont innovation, and they’ve got some new lab space to help them do so.
On Friday, state leaders joined company officials and employees to cut the ribbon on the newly renovated building E353. The facility features some automated lab space along with fermentation labs and microbial research space.
“This facility and the capabilities give our talented employees and diverse employees the tools that they need to continue to keep up with the demands of the world,” said Marc Doyle, COO of DowDuPont specialty products division. “The key to our long-term success is that we can never stand still, as we know the world keeps changing, our customers keep changing, their needs are changing, and we need to continue to keep up.”
Workers in the building are exploring ways to improve DuPont’s household products such as Tide laundry detergent. They are developing enzymes to better remove stains even during a cold water wash as part of an effort to reduce the cost and environmental footprint of doing laundry.
Delaware Gov. John Carney reflected on the past few years of anxious times wondering what would become of legacy DuPont facilities in Delaware after the company’s merger with Dow. Looking out over the company’s Wilmington campus — where $200 million of further upgrades are planned — Carney was optimistic.
“I’m jumping out of my skin, I’m so happy to see that,” he said. “DuPont and Delaware have been synonymous through our industrial history, and DuPont has been that cornerstone company for the state of Delaware for over 200 years.
“When you think about this building and this complex in terms of the research and development and innovation, that’s where the future of our state lies.”
Upgrades to other buildings and infrastructure will accommodate an expected increase of hundreds of employees at the site by 2020.