Whether it is a new enzyme that makes the grass greener, a new spectacle lens that helps you see more clearly, or a steering system that will change the way we drive, products made in the Roanoke Valley of Virginia reflect the region's industrial diversity and spirit of innovation.
Novozymes Biologicals, a Denmark-based biotech firm, recently completed a new facility for its local operation, which develops and produces enzyme-making microbes for household, industrial and agricultural applications. The site the company chose, the Roanoke County Center for Research & Technology, is less than 30 minutes from the research capabilities of Virginia Tech and its spectacular setting won over company officials.
Johnson & Johnson's Spectacle Lens Group is test marketing its Definity 2 lens, a new design of the progressive addition eyeglass lenses, which reduces distortion. Among the reasons J&J chose the Roanoke location? Excellent market access and low costs of doing business. The Roanoke Valley is within a day's truck shipping distance of two-thirds of the population of the United States and almost exactly equidistant between New York City and Atlanta. A large UPS hub, Interstate-81 and inland port enhance the region's transportation advantages.
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