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.
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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."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      BruceLeeisback
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Something tells us the company will have no trouble finding volunteers to move from Dearborn to Palo Alto." just wait until they see how expensive it is to live there.
      car-a-holic
      • 2 Years Ago
      Are they interested in being located near some of the best US engineering and newer tech areas or what am I missing....????, additions ; thoughts?
      brian
      • 2 Years Ago
      Will this mean that the next MFT will be engineered by Apple?
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Danny Eckel
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would think being in Dearborn is somewhat of an advantage, tons of tech companies are clamoring for talent in SIlicon Valley, why not take advantage of the great engineers produced by Purdue, Illinois, and Michigan. They could buy a mansion with for less than a 1 bedroom in SF. I think the west coast is highly sensationalized.
      Just Me
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not the first R&D facility for Ford on the west coast. Ford's electronics group had a Western Development Lab (WDL) right in Palo Alto in the 60s and 70s. Of course it was focused on aerospace, but still it did exist.
      Car Guy
      • 2 Years Ago
      The average home in Dearborn is about $100,000. The average home in Palo Alto is about $1,200,000. I seriously doubt Ford will come up with the cash to re-locate anybody from MI to CA.
        guyverfanboy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Car Guy
        This is exactly why I am moving out of the area here! Too damn expensive!
      David
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sorry guys and gals, but this move is purely for show. Management decides to close down a very successful remote office in Michigan employing 35 university students working on REAL software development and instead open this "fluff" office near "Silicon Valley" touting the fact that it's near "Stanford". Unfortunately Ford has a few executives with heads up their you know what... it's sad because there is a lot going right with the company but this is not one of those examples.
        guyverfanboy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @David
        Considering the long list of tech companies here in Silicon Valley, it makes perfect sense to take advantage of the large talent pool for a research lab here.
        Jae
        • 2 Years Ago
        @David
        Not to mention GM has its technical facility on Portage and el camino in Palo Alto. I don't agree with it being for fluff
      Walt
      • 2 Years Ago
      Makes sense that Ford would distribute their research labs around the world. Helps to avoid trade secrets going to Toyota, which has their research center in Detroit for obvious reasons.
      mycr0ftholmes
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't mean to uh... but didn't you... already... http://www.autoblog.com/2012/01/06/its-about-damn-time-ford/ yeah you did.
      StegRacing@youtube
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why don't you research why the Ford Falcon was never exported!? People from dozens of countries say they love it and privately import one, but half a dozen people in head office decide in fact those people DON'T love it. I understand you turned the company around, and you have my respect for that, but you overlooked so many, far better and longer lasting scenarios. The push for smaller more efficient cars is not a new one, it's happened in 4 or even 5 different decades in the last century, and then what happens? People want bigger again. It will keep happening forever.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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