RICHMOND — Liberation Labs, a precision fermentation manufacturer, announced plans to establish operations in Indiana, investing $115 million to develop its first commercial-scale biomanufacturing facility in Richmond.
“Next generation technology is critical to future food security for people everywhere, and I am proud that Indiana is leading the charge,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers. “We are excited to welcome Liberation Labs to our growing agbiosciences ecosystem. Liberation Labs will continue to enable companies to innovate while creating high-paying, quality career opportunities for Hoosiers.”
The company, which aims to enable the commercialization of alternative protein products through fermentation manufacturing, will construct a facility on 36 acres of Richmond’s 700-acre Midwest Industrial Park. The new facility, which will have a fermentation capacity of 600,000 liters with a fully dedicated downstream process, is part of the company’s model to offer customers fit-for-purpose capacity at large scale. Liberation Labs’ facility in Richmond will help meet demand for alternative proteins, increasing its availability and cost-effectiveness for existing major food brands as well as the growing network of food-tech innovators.
“The three things a biomanufacturing facility like ours needs are sugar, power and people — and Richmond has them all,” said Mark Warner, co-founder and CEO of Liberation Labs. “While sugar and power are commodities, a workforce experienced in manufacturing is not, which is why Richmond really stands out. We are thankful for the support the state and the local community have provided us, and we can’t wait to break ground.”
Liberation Labs plans to break ground later this spring and reach full commercial production by the end of 2024. The company plans to create 45 new manufacturing jobs to support its growth, with average wages well above the state average.
“Securing this partnership and investment from Liberation Labs is another milestone in our strong relationship with Gov. Holcomb and the Indiana Economic Development Corp.,” said Richmond Mayor Dave Snow. “We are thrilled to add the expertise of Liberation Labs to our Industrial Park. Make no mistake, when a company of this caliber chooses to invest in Richmond, it’s a resounding vote of confidence that we are moving in the right direction. With more jobs being created, and such a strong business model, I am confident this is just the beginning of a long and mutually prosperous relationship.”
Liberation Labs’ first-of-its-kind precision fermentation facilities are engineered to deliver cost-effective, high-yield production of novel proteins and accelerate consumer adoption of healthy food alternatives. The company aims to build a network of purpose-built facilities to accommodate 80% or more of the alternative protein market, delivering a global solution to unlock a new era of food accessibility and sustainability.
Based on the company’s job creation plans, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. committed an investment in Liberation Labs of up to $780,000 in the form of incentive-based tax credits and up to $50,000 in training grants. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired and trained. Wayne County will consider additional incentives at the request of Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County.