Wacker Opens New Innovation Center, HQ
Wacker Chemical Corporation, a subsidiary of global chemical manufacturer Wacker Chemie AG, hosted the grand opening of its new Innovation Center and Regional Headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, last week. According to the emailed release, the facility covers 18 acres and will serve as the hub of leadership and innovation for the company’s North and Central Americas (NCA) region.
Currently, Wacker reports the state-of-the-art center houses more than 200 team members, including the company’s NCA senior leadership team; the region’s leading chemists; IT and other technical experts, along with support functions. These team members reportedly moved into the building in mid-April.
Construction began at the site in December 2020 for the 140,000-square-foot facility, and the more than $50 million investment was completed by the company’s developer and contractor Kirco-Manix. Prior to completion, chemists, scientists and senior leadership worked at three separate locations in the state.
According to the company, the new building provides room for expansion and growth. Additionally, the Innovation Center includes labs, a full-service cafeteria, a 24/7 fitness center and collaborative work spaces.
The event on May 10 included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour of the site for corporate leadership, state, county and township officials, along with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
“We are pleased to formally open this world-class Innovation Center today to our valued partners,” said Wacker Chemical Corporation President and CEO David Wilhoit. “The site will serve as an important anchor for our growing operations across North and Central America.
“This area is home to dozens of research facilities and educational institutions, making it one of the leading communities in Michigan and the entire nation for R&D, enabling the company to network with, and recruit from among, the best high-tech talent in the nation.”
“The Innovation Center will be Wacker’s new North American headquarters for a diverse and broad workforce and be a workspace for 300 Michiganders operating on the cutting edge of manufacturing and high-tech innovation,” said Gov. Whitmer. “This facility is a talent magnet, showing other firms that Michigan is the obvious answer when deciding where to expand or move their business.
“Our position as a global epicenter for high-tech manufacturing and innovation is clearer than it has ever been thanks to companies like Wacker. Let’s keep working together to grow the economy, create good-paying jobs, and conduct groundbreaking research that will define the future— right here in Michigan.”
The company reports that it will continue to produce elastomers, silicone fluids and silicone emulsions out of its existing operations in Adrian, Michigan, where the regional headquarters were previously located. Established in 1969, the site reportedly remains a growing base of operations for the company’s silicones division.