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La Liga de Las Americas

Spanish aerospace company chooses Michigan for engineering center

Sept. 26, 2007: Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced last week that Grupo Aernnova, a company based in Spain that designs and produces aeronautical structures and components, has chosen Michigan over competing sites in 15 states to establish a new, state-of-the-art aerospace engineering center in Washtenaw County’s Pittsfield Township. 

With assistance offered through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the company will invest approximately $10 million in the project that is expected to create up to 1,257 Michigan jobs, including up to 600 directly by the company.

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm

Joining Granholm was
MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito, University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman, Ambassador Javier Rupérez, Consul General of Spain in Chicago, Grupo Aernnova Chairman and CEO Iñaki López Gandásegui, and Ann Arbor SPARK CEO Michael A. Finney.
“With our expertise in advanced manufacturing and engineering, Michigan is the best place for international companies looking to compete in the North American market to invest and grow,” Granholm said.  “Aernnova’s decision to choose Michigan shows we can compete and win the fight for new investment and new jobs.”
Based on the
MEDC’s recommendation, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority board today approved a state tax credit valued at more than $18.5 million over 15 years to win the new engineering center.  Pittsfield Township is considering a 12-year abatement worth $304,000 to support the project.
“The fact that we beat 15 other states for this engineering center speaks volumes about our state and our efforts to transform and diversify our economy,” Epolito said.  “I applaud Ann Arbor SPARK and Pittsfield Township for working with us to make a strong business case to win this project and the high-tech jobs it will create.”

An economic analysis conducted by the MEDC estimates that increased economic activity created by the new facility will generate up to 657 indirect Michigan jobs in addition to the up to 600 created directly by the company.  The project is expected to generate more than $908 million in personal income for Michigan workers over the life of the tax credit.
“Grupo Aernnova is excited to announce the opening of its newest Aerospace Engineering Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the latest element of the significant presence that Aernnova intends to establish in the important North American aerospace marketplace,” Grupo Aernnova Chairman and CEO Iñaki López Gandásegui said. 

“The new center intends to tap the substantial engineering talent pool that exists in this area, including collaborations with the excellent local universities. Initially, the center will focus on supporting the commercial aerospace structural requirements of major U.S. and European aircraft manufacturers; long-term goals include supporting U.S. aerospace defense programs.  Ultimately, we anticipate expansion into renewable resource technologies, capitalizing on the extensive experience that Aernnova has in this market.”
The Aernnova project is one of eight economic development projects the governor announced today.  In all, they are expected to create a total of 3,512 Michigan jobs.
The newest of three advanced engineering facilities to operate under Grupo Aernnova will specialize in the design and optimization of composite and metal aerostructures.  The center will be equipped with the latest graphic design and structural analysis technology, as well as telecommunication and data transmission systems to allow the center’s engineering services to be provided to aerospace customers around the globe.  
“The availability of skilled engineering talent was a major factor in the decision by Aernnova to locate its North American engineering headquarters in the
Ann Arbor region,” Finney said.  “Aernnova’s move to our community highlights how the region’s manufacturing heritage can be a catalyst for new economy success.”
Aernnova Aerospace, SA is a Spanish company that designs and produces aeronautical structures and components, operating through five business units: aerostructures, engineering, composite components, metallic components, and product support services.  These activities are presently conducted in production and service centers located in
Spain, Brazil, México, and the United States.  The company has a total workforce of more than 3,000 and annual sales of $500 million USD.
Grupo Aernnova has a proven track record of more than 20 years of participation in international aeronautical programs.  Clients include Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, Bombardier, Sikorsky, and EADS. 

In her 2007 State of the State address, Granholm emphasized the importance of making Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century.  Since January 2005, the governor and the MEDC have announced the creation or retention of more than 197,000 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.  For more information on the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at  www.michigan.org.








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