The Detroit Region is a Growing Research, Engineering & Design Hub

CLUSTER INTRO: From concept to consumer, the complete talent vertical is in the 11-county Detroit Region, with innovative design thinking, top engineers, and revolutionary research technologies. Also, Detroit is the only U.S. city to receive the designation of UNESCO city of design. This has made research, engineering and design (RED) a thriving industry cluster in the Detroit Region.

Research, Engineering, & Design Talent: The Detroit Region is a top location for talent that powers and supports this industry cluster.

  • The following is the latest stats for the RED industry cluster this year:
    Number two U.S. metro for engineering & technicians’ total talent and density is Detroit, with more than 89,000 jobs.
    Ranked #1 for mechanical engineers
    Ranked #1 for industrial engineers
    Ranked #2 for other engineers
    Ranked among the top 10 metros for engineering managers
    Ranked among the top 10 metros for electrical engineers
    Detroit ranks #2 metro for total commercial and industrial designers in the United States with more than 2,700 designers.

Two Female College Students Building Machine In Science Robotics Or Engineering Class

With a talent density more than New York, Los Angeles, & Chicago combined, along with ranking one of the lowest for having low turnover rates.

Research, Engineering, & Design Talent Pipeline: The Detroit Region is home to some of the nation’s leading academic institutions, supplying a robust pipeline of talent in design, engineering, and research. The Michigan University Research Corridor (URC) is the top academic research cluster in the United States. Below are some notable rankings of a few regional universities and colleges.

University of Michigan Engineering School has 11 U.S, News and World Report ranked programs; with specialty rankings in; #1 nuclear engineering, #3 environmental engineering, #5 mechanical engineering, #5 aerospace engineering, & #5 computer engineering.

The College of Creative Studies in Detroit ranked 6th best college for design in America by Niche 2020.

Wayne State University (WSU) reported a large increase in research funding, with a total of $320 million in 2020, which ranks WSU as one of the top universities in the nation for R&D spending.

Investment Spotlight: KLA Tencor
KLA-Tencor is investing and expanding in Ann Arbor, Michigan; with a R&D hub that opened in 2019 and a second U.S. headquarters that opened in 2021.

The company is also building partnerships with the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering, along with others across the Detroit Region.

The Detroit Region was selected over 390 other sites, that were considered across the nation, due to quality of talent, transit accessibility, and high quality of life.

“Locating in the Detroit Region allows the company to draw from one of the densest engineering talent pools in the United States. Quality talent, low-cost of living, and many others were among decisive reasons Ann Arbor was selected for the new R&D hub.” – Bobby Bell, Chief Strategic Officer, KLA-Tencor

Investment Spotlight: Pace Industries
Pace Industries provides die casting, manufacturing, and engineering solutions around the world in the automotive, lighting, appliance and powersport industries.

The new Novi office houses their executive, engineering, sales and marketing operations.

Pace Industries relocated its global headquarters to Novi in Oakland County, MI due to its proximity to customers, supply-chain assets, and top-tier talent.

“Pace Industries recently moved its global headquarters to the Metro Detroit area for better access to our customer and supply bases, and the engaged, experienced talent that Michigan has to offer. The MEDC, Detroit Regional Partnership, city, and county all provided support with the initial move and continue to work as valued partners as we expand our team.” – Donald Hampton Jr., CEO, Pace Industries

The Detroit Regional Partnership’s (DRP) seven-industry cluster program received the C2ER Research Award for Project Impact in its first year. In keeping with current industry trends, data for each cluster is being updated and re-launched on the DRP website.

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