Ford has announced that it will set up a new research facility in Palo Alto, California. While the manufacturer has similar labs in locations from Germany to China and Israel, the new location will be the first on the West Coast. Specifically, engineers and designers will focus on independent technology projects as well as finding new research directions and potential partners. While Ford is currently recruiting some staff locally, others are expected to be pulled from the company's global workforce. Something tells us the company will have no trouble finding volunteers to move from Dearborn to Palo Alto.
TJ Giuli is one of those volunteers. The Ford researcher is a Stanford alumnus who's going back to California to help lead the lab's establishment. According to Giuli, the research community in the area is excited to have Ford in the neighborhood. Hit the jump for the quick press release.
Palo Alto Welcomes Ford's Silicon Valley Lab in Summer 2012
Palo Alto, CA – The City of Palo Alto and Ford Motor Company officials announced today that Ford has officially selected Palo Alto for its Silicon Valley Lab, the first such research operation for Ford on the West Coast.
"We're delighted to announce that we've identified a location in downtown Palo Alto, a city that is clearly at the center of technological innovation," said Paul Mascarenas, Ford's chief technical officer and vice president of Research and Innovation. "Together with our research teams in Dearborn, Mich.; Aachen, Germany; Nanjing, China; and Tel Aviv, Israel; our new Silicon Valley Lab will help us innovate even faster as emerging ideas and technologies are key part of the culture. We think Palo Alto is a perfect fit for us and look forward to becoming part of the community."
Palo Alto couldn't agree more. "When Ford announced in January that they were focusing on the Silicon Valley for their innovation lab, we knew it should be in Palo Alto," said Thomas Fehrenbach, the city's economic development manager. "That's why we reached out to offer our assistance. We're excited to welcome Ford to our vibrant downtown."
The new Ford lab will serve as a hub for independent technology projects and identification of new research investments and partners located along the West Coast. New employees are being recruited locally and rotated-in from the global network of Ford staff and will spend their time discovering new trends, developing innovative technologies and ideas and initiating collaborative research projects.
"The city of Palo Alto has been a pleasure to work with and was instrumental in helping Ford get settled in the Valley," said TJ Giuli, Ford researcher and Stanford University alum who finds himself back in Palo Alto having relocated from Ford's headquarters in Dearborn to lead the establishment of the Lab. "The excitement from the technical community is palpable and the opportunities are already overwhelming, but we're ready."