Company, city and state officials assist with groundbreaking for the new Italpollina research center in Anderson on Wednesday.

ANDERSON — When Italpollina announced it would open its North American headquarters in Anderson four years ago, the Italian company wasn’t thinking big.

That has changed.

“The people helped us in Anderson,” Luca Bonini, CEO of Italpollina, said Wednesday during a groundbreaking for a $6.8 million research and development center.

Work on the site is expected to start this month and be completed by next August.

“We started to think big after we located in Anderson,” Bonini said. “This is a great community. We never regretted the choice of Indiana.”

Italpollina opened its production facility in Anderson in 2017 following a $10 million investment. The facility employs 38 people just to the west of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute.

“A company’s biggest investment is research and development,” Bonini said. “It’s important to have it located close to your production facility. We’re thinking five or six years in the future for the development of new products.”

Bonini said the research and development center will not be the last investment the company makes in Anderson.

“We want to develop Italpollina Park that will be a knowledge producer,” he said. “We’re here to stay.”

Bonini said fertilizer and other agricultural products manufactured in Anderson are being shipped worldwide.

“Anderson is becoming a part of the strategy for all of our companies’ innovations,” he said.

Mark Wasky, vice president with the Indiana Economic Development Corp., said the groundbreaking was a celebration of continued investment in Anderson by Italpollina.

“Indiana is the best place in the world to locate and grow businesses,” Wasky said, noting that there have been 1,000 investments in the state by foreign companies. The investments have netted jobs for 193,000 people, he said.

“Italpollina could have selected any place in the world for the research and development center,” Wasky continued. “They selected Anderson.”

Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. said Italpollina continues to expand and grow in the city.

“This was the first economic development project I had involvement with after being elected mayor,” he said. “I had conversations with the economic development department and told them to continue to move forward with the project.”

Italpollina has set the standard for a great facility and its product is helping farmers be more productive, according to Broderick.

“This will be a cutting edge technology facility for innovation to take place,” he said.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter

@KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

Senior Reporter covering Anderson and Madison County government, politics and auto racing for The Herald Bulletin. Has been working as a journalist in central Indiana since 1977.

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