Wacker Expands Research and Development Capacities for Silicones in the U.S.
Wacker Chemie, Munich, Germany, is expanding its research and development facilities for silicones by establishing a new R&D center located in Ann Arbor, MI/USA. The facility is dedicated to support Wacker’s overall business and product development in the North, Central and South America regions. In a first phase, the Group is investing a single digit million US-dollar figure mainly for equipment and installation of the labs. The facility will officially open in the first half of 2017.
Based at Michigan Innovation Headquarters, a co-work campus facility in Ann Arbor, the center consists of several labs for R&D and analytics. Projects Wacker intends to pursue right from the start include health and medical care applications, solutions for coatings and paints, silicone-based softeners, and personal care products. The labs will be operated by Wacker Chemical Corporation (WCC), WACKER’s Adrian, MI-based subsidiary for North, Central and South America, and staffed with highly specialized experts in the field of silicone and polymer chemistry.
Main considerations for selecting the Ann Arbor location were based upon the availability of highly skilled talent pools, close proximity to respected area universities and to 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, WCC President and CEO.
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