Dow to add innovation center in Michigan

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Dow to add innovation center in Michigan
Photo by Crain's Detroit Business Dow Chemical Co. will invest in a new innovation center in Midland, employing 200 people.

Midland, Mich. — Dow Chemical Co. will invest in a new innovation center in Midland, employing 200 people.

The project will create 100 new jobs and repatriate 100 others from other Dow facilities throughout its global network.

The center will be focused on combining existing chemistries with new technologies derived from its recent ownership restructuring of Dow Corning's Silicones business, as well as future technologies, Dow said.

"This innovation center will add to Dow's world-class research and development engine, and could have been located anywhere in the world," Dow CEO Andrew Liveris said in a Dec. 9 news release. "We chose Michigan, our home for more than 119 years because of the highly-skilled work force in the state and because we believe the incoming Presidential administration understands the importance of R&D investment and its multiplier impact on U.S. manufacturing jobs."

Dow said the center will focus on driving closer partnerships with automotive manufacturer's efforts to lightweight vehicles and develop hybrid, electric and autonomous transportation solutions. Other areas of focus include: advancing technologies for home and personal care products, enhancing and broadening Dow's energy saving building technologies, and advancing materials for critical infrastructure.

In the last 10 years, Dow said it and its regional development partners, have driven more than $400 million of investment and downtown economic redevelopment in the Great Lakes Bay Region, home to the company and its nearly 13,000 employees and contractors. Investments include nearly 1 billion square feet of real estate. This includes a new global headquarters scheduled to open in 2017; a new regional airport; a world class hotel and other accommodations; cutting edge STEM schools that are developing the next generation of chemists, biologists, and physicists; and more.

Dow said it has created more than 6,000 jobs in the U.S. during the last four years.

"We have some of the smartest, most creative people in the world working with chemistries that can help solve the world's most pressing challenges—from clean water scarcity to the preservation of food to energy and the environment," Liveris said. "Dow is uniquely positioned to invent the products that will define the solutions of tomorrow, and then to ultimately manufacture those solutions right here in the U.S."

In 2015, Dow reported annual sales of nearly $49 billion and employed about 49,000 people throughout its 179 sites in 35 business.