New GE center expected to boost area as R&D hub

The EPISCENTER will draw support from UDRI, WPAFB and spur jobs in region.

DAYTON — The General Electric Co.’s new research and development center will give GE direct access to the research expertise of the University of Dayton Research Institute, a key customer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and a pipeline of UD engineering and technology students who could turn internships into future GE jobs, officials said Monday.

GE officials said in March that they would locate the center in the Dayton area, but gave the specific location Monday.

“The center’s close proximity to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the University of Dayton Research Institute is important in order to provide significant new support for the Air Force Research Labs and the university,” said Vic Bonneau, president of GE Aviation’s electrical power aviation systems business.

UD bought the former NCR Corp. property in 2005 and pledged to use it to attract companies that could spur the region’s research and economic development, Curran said. Government funds paid for cleanup of the former brownfield land several years ago, but an environmental review and clearance of the site will still be done, officials said.

“We pledged to work with each of our hubs to spur new economic development,” said Strickland, who designated the aerospace hub in September 2009 as the first of Ohio’s technology-focused development hubs. “And today, right here, we see exactly what that can produce.”

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Montgomery County, the city of Dayton and CityWide Development were also involved in the effort to bring the GE center to Dayton.

UD will work with CityWide to build the 115,000-square-foot building to GE’s specifications, officials said. GE had previously considered adapting an existing building in order to reduce costs of the project, but UD officials said a building constructed for GE’s expansion needs would be more useful.

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