Wacker Chemical Opens $50M R&D and Innovation Center in Ann Arbor

Wacker Chemical Corp., a global leader in chemical R&D and manufacturing, has opened a $50-million Innovation Center and regional headquarters in Ann Arbor.
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Wacker Chemical Corp. has opened a $50-million Innovation Center and regional headquarters in Ann Arbor. // Courtesy of Wacker Chemical Corp.
Wacker Chemical Corp. has opened a $50-million Innovation Center and regional headquarters in Ann Arbor. // Courtesy of Wacker Chemical Corp.

Wacker Chemical Corp., a global leader in chemical R&D and manufacturing, has opened a $50-million Innovation Center and regional headquarters in Ann Arbor.

The technology campus covers 18 acres at 4950 S. State Road and serves as the hub of leadership and innovation for Wacker’s North and Central Americas (NCA) region. The state-of-the-art center currently houses more than 200 team members, including the company’s NCA senior leadership team; chemists; IT and other technical experts; along with support functions.

Construction of the 140,000-square-foot site, overseen by Troy-based Kirco-Manix, began in December 2020 and Wacker moved into the building in mid-April 2022.

The campus allows chemists, scientists, and senior leadership that had previously worked out of three separate Michigan locations to collaborate in a single space. The new building provides room for an expansion of its research and manufacturing activities, which includes silicones, polymers, polysilicon, and bio-solutions.

The Innovation Center includes world-class labs, a full-service cafeteria, a 24/7 fitness center, and open collaborative workspaces.

Wacker will continue to produce elastomers, silicone fluids and silicone emulsions out of its existing operations in Adrian (southwest of Ann Arbor), where the regional headquarters was located previously.

The Adrian site, established in 1969, remains a growing base of operations for the approximately 275 employees managing production there for the Wacker Silicones division.

“We are pleased to formally open this world-class Innovation Center to our valued partners,” says David Wilhoit, president and CEO of Wacker. “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.”

Wacker serves multiple industries, including automotive, health care, personal care, construction, paints, textiles, and more. The company is a pioneer in silicone and polymer technology, the leading provider of polysilicon for the solar industry, and an innovator in biotechnology applications for food/nutrition and pharmaceuticals.

It has 10 locations across the United States, including multiple technical centers and manufacturing facilities. The US-based Wacker Chemical Corp. is a subsidiary of Wacker Chemie AG, a $6 billion global chemical R&D and manufacturing company headquartered in Munich, Germany.

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