Brewer Science celebrates expansion in Springfield
Posted on July 5, 2014 15:50 pm CDT
by Ryan Slight
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At roughly the size of an earbud, it is called the fastest humidity sensor in the world.
When someone breathes on it, the device measures changes in humidity and can determine someone's hydration.
The sensor is one of many innovative items at Brewer Science, which celebrated an expansion Thursday at the Roy Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation Center. Brewer Science creates materials used in electronic devices such as smartphones and digital cameras.
"You saw the beginning of a whole new kind of technology," Terry Brewer, president of Brewer Science, said of innovations such as the sensor. "It will absolutely change the future of health care."
The Rolla-based company now has 12,450 square feet in the Boonville Avenue facility after leasing an additional 4,600 square feet. Twenty Brewer Science employees work at JVIC. Brewer said the company added some personnel, but did not have an exact number.
Brewer Science gained use of the center's second floor as well as the fifth floor. In addition to manufacturing materials, the company can now manufacture those materials into devices because of the extra space, Brewer said.
"That moves the technology forward much faster than waiting for someone else to do it," Brewer said.
Advances in smartphone technology — in which Brewer Science plays a role — will bring changes in the way people monitor their health and set up appointments with their doctors, said U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, who was among dozens of community members and politicians who attended the company's ribbon-cutting.
The senator expressed concern that the government not overregulate such innovations.
The expansion is expected to take about 60 percent of the space left vacant when Lockheed Martin Corp. broke its lease in the fall.
According to a university announcement earlier this year, Brewer will pay $13.50 per square foot for the additional space in the first year. In the second year, the price increases to $16 per square foot. The company has been in the JVIC since it opened in 2007.
Brewer hoped his company's efforts would attract more high-tech manufacturing companies to Springfield.
"People don't expect in the Midwest and small communities that this level of innovation and level of technology and changing the world can happen," he said. "So stay tuned."