June 7/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel -- Kikkoman Foods Inc. will open a research and development laboratory in Madison's University Research Park this fall, chief executive officer Yuzaburo Mogi said.

Kikkoman is celebrating the 35th anniversary of making products in the U.S. The Japanese food company opened its first plant outside of Japan in Walworth in 1973.

At a news conference at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Mogi also announced that Kikkoman will donate $100,000 to establish an Environmental Studies Scholarship in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The scholarships will be used for environmental studies at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Any undergraduate studying at the institute will be eligible, but preference will be given to students from Walworth County.

The research lab will be located in rented space in the research park and will have a small staff at first, Mogi said. It will be led by one of the company's top research scientists and focus on developing new products for American consumers, he said.

Kikkoman chose Madison for the research facility because the area has access to highly experienced researchers in the food industry and is becoming a center for high technology ventures in the food industry, Mogi said.

The Walworth plant, which was expanded to 710,000 square feet in 2003, produces 29 million gallons of soy sauce annually, about a fifth of Kikkoman's global production.

When it opened, the plant turned out 2.4 million gallons of soy sauce and related products per year. It employs about 160 people.

In honor of the anniversary of the Walworth plant, the company sponsored a conference at the art museum titled "The Economics of Green: Finding a Balance between Economic Growth and the Environment."

The event, co-hosted by the state Department of Commerce and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, included talks by Timothy Sullivan, chief executive officer at Bucyrus International; Gov. Jim Doyle; Glenn Hubbard, dean of the Columbia Business School at Columbia University; Heize Takenaka, professor and director of the Global Security Research Institute at Keio University; Takeo Shiina, executive adviser, IBM Japan; and Mutsuyoshi Nishimura, special adviser to the cabinet.

The speakers emphasized the need for global cooperation in reducing emissions that cause climate change.

Sullivan criticized leaders in Washington, D.C., for defeating a global warming bill.

The bill was shelved on a procedural vote in the Senate.

"It's going to send the wrong signal to the world," Sullivan said. "It was defeated by business, and that's wrong."

Sullivan said businesses want to do the right thing but need lawmakers to put limits in place and end the uncertainty about environmental requirements. Businesses can react quickly, once they have standards to follow, he said.

From the June 9, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash