Munich — Wacker AG is establishing a new research and development center in Ann Arbor, Mich., in an effort to expand its expertise in silicone, the German company announced Oct. 6.
The group will be investing “a single digit million dollar” figure in the first phase of the facility, which will be supporting Wacker's business and product development in the North, Central and South America regions.
The 90,000-square-foot “co-work campus” officially will open in the first half of 2017, according to Wacker.
Based at Wacker's Michigan Innovation HQ, the center will have labs for research, development and analytics, with particular focus on health and medical care applications, coatings and paints, silicone-based softeners and personal care products.
The labs will be operated by Wacker Chemical Corp., Wacker's Adrian, Mich.-based subsidiary for North, Central and South America.
The company said Ann Arbor was chosen for the location of the site due to the availability of talent and proximity to universities and Wacker's production site in Adrian.
“With Ann Arbor considered a technology hub, it complements the company's business model to be close to its customers and close to regional market trends,” said David Wilhoit, Wacker president and CEO.