KALAMAZOO, MI—Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid has announced it will build a 40,000-sq.-ft. research and development center here by 2014.
The new Design Center will employ 100 people, according to a company statement. A large, open studio space will provide an environment for designers to collaborate using advanced software tools, and immersion labs for the company's priority business segments will enable design and marketing teams to evaluate product prototypes and imagine the possibilities of future product road maps, the firm said.
Chuck Jones, the company’s chief of design and research, said the new center will help attract the best international design talent to work on a wonderful portfolio of leading brands. "Great design and creativity is the difference between a standard product and one that is beautiful in every way—and drives consumer preference," says Jones in a statement. “ Our brand studios and immersion labs will foster growth ideas as designers collaborate with marketing and R&D on great innovation.”
The state and city are providing incentives worth about $2.2 million for the facility, which will be located in the Business Technology and Research Park at Western Michigan University. The park is one of Michigan's Smart Zones and home to WMU's College of Engineering. According to the state, the site was chosen over a competing site in Chicago.
"The city is pleased to welcome Newell Rubbermaid into our community," says Ken Collard, Kalamazoo city manager, in a separate statement. "This company perfectly complements Kalamazoo's growing design and engineering community. We look forward to being a partner in their growth plans."