IIB weekly wrap: Saab expanding in West Lafayette; beekeeping innovation

A Saab manufacturing plant. A new plant will come to West Lafayette, starting construction in 2020. (Photo provided by Saab)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Tippecanoe County is getting some big economic news after a defense and security company makes plans to put a new aerospace production facility there.

Sweden-based Saab will invest $37 million in the new facility at Purdue University-affiliated Discovery Park District and create up to 300 jobs there.

The new advanced facility will manufacture a significant portion of the TX advance pilot training aircraft for the U.S. Air Force. Saab also plans to place an emphasis on research and development.

"As a part of our Vision 2020 initiative, we set out to continue to build this great ecosystem in aerospace and aviation we have -- and defense -- and this goes right into that sweet spot," Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger told Inside INdiana Business' Gerry Dick. He said Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Economic Development Commission made the deal come together. "We were one of ten states they looked at. We had four different interviews, one out in Washington, D.C. They narrowed it down to three states and four sites. Indiana had two of those sites and the one they selected, obviously, was up at the aerospace district at Purdue University."

And did you know a strong bee hive can contain anywhere from 10,000 - 15,000 bees? Keeping track of how much pollen they're producing can be a huge challenge.

Bee Corp thinks it has a solution with its new product called Verifli. The Bloomington-based company spent nearly 10 months creating the infrared grading solution, which actually captures what the bees are doing inside the hive.

Bee Corp recently changed their business strategy and began to focus solely on almond pollination – 80 percent of which takes place in California.

Watch Inside INdiana Business at a special time this weekend, Saturday night at 7 p.m. on Channel 13, for more on the Saab deal and how it may help attract future development here in Indiana; and how the Bee Corp product will make a big difference profit-wise for beekeepers and growers.