Lear Corp., a global supplier of automotive seating and electrical systems, has celebrated the opening of its new innovation center in downtown Detroit.
At the center, Lear plans to develop new automotive products and technologies, incubate non-automotive business opportunities, collaborate with the College for Creative Studies (CCS) on the next generation of automotive seating and vehicle interiors and work with the Wayne State University (WSU) School of Engineering to develop applications for connected cars and alternative energy vehicles.
Lear President and CEO Matt Simoncini began the grand opening event by welcoming guests Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, WSU President Dr. M. Roy Wilson and CCS President Rick Rogers.
“We are very excited to be opening a new Innovation and Design Center in downtown Detroit,” said Simoncini. “We plan to leverage the rapidly developing infrastructure in the Central Business District as well as the concentration of arts, science and technology assets in the Capitol Park area to fully participate in the transformation that is underway in the automotive business and to take our company to the next level.”
Mayor Duggan commented, “Lear’s investment in this new center is another example of how Detroit is building on its history of innovation in automotive design. Thanks to their partners at Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies, Lear will be able to provide young Detroiters with practical hands-on experience to prepare them for careers in this cutting-edge field.”
Planned as a hub for art, creativity, automotive advanced concept development and hands-on learning for Detroit college students, the building at 119 State Street will serve multiple purposes including focusing on innovation and design, inside and outside the automotive industry, working closely with nearby WSU and CCS and supporting community organizations.
With nearly 90 percent of its furniture designed or built in Detroit and other Michigan locations and featuring noted local graffiti artists, the Lear Innovation Center’s 35,000 square feet will include an open first floor gallery and showroom, modern office environments and work spaces designed to promote creativity as well as a rooftop garden for special events.
Lear purchased the historic (circa-1887), six-story 119 State Street building located in the city’s resurging Capitol Park neighborhood last September. It has been restored close to its original Victorian Romanesque exterior design, while interior renovations exude an industrial, raw, authentic Detroit style and aesthetic.