Wacker Chemie has opened a new regional Innovation Center in Michigan, which will develop high-margin biotech and silicone specialties for high-tech applications and serve as the headquarters of Wacker Chemical Corporation, responsible for North and Central America.
The research campus is part of the company’s growth campaign announced at the end of March. Wacker intends to significantly expand its market position in the USA and other target regions through investments in research and development, additional production capacities, and accelerated growth. The investment for the research building, which also acts as an administrative center, amounts to around EUR 40 million.
On a new 70,000 sqm site, biotech and silicone experts, who have previously conducted research at different locations, will develop products for the North American market under one roof. The building houses more than 20 technical and analytical laboratories. The equipment for the development of new products and applications is state-of-the-art.
‘After China, the United States is the largest market for chemicals and silicone products,’ said Robert Gnann, president of Wacker’s silicones business division. ‘Our Innovation Center is an essential prerequisite for serving customers in North America with tailor-made silicone specialties, which are used in a wide range of application fields. Wacker will thus become the preferred choice for customers looking for sustainable and forward-looking solutions for tomorrow’s products and technologies. Over the next few years, we will systematically expand our market position as a manufacturer of silicone specialties in this important region.’
The focus of the research and development work at the Innovation Center is on unique products for innovative and sustainable technologies and applications.
The 13,000 sqm building also houses the administrative headquarters of Wacker Chemical Corporation (WCC). In mid-April, management, sales and administration – more than 200 employees – moved to Ann Arbor from the previous company headquarters in Adrian, Michigan. The production site, where Wacker has been producing silicones for more than 50 years, continues to manufacture silicone fluids, silicone emulsions and silicone rubber.
‘We are pleased to formally open this world-class Innovation Center today to our valued partners,’ said David Wilhoit, president and CEO of WCC. ‘The site will serve as an important anchor for our growing operations across North and Central America. The Ann Arbor 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.’