Panasonic to establish auto innovation center in Atlanta
New automotive engineering center on campus of Georgia Tech to focus on next-generation auto systems in partnership with Peachtree City plant
Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America announced May 4 that it will establish the Panasonic Automotive Innovation Center in the Technology Square area of Midtown Atlanta on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology, one of the nation’s top research universities, which is best known as Georgia Tech.
The Center, which will begin operations at the end of May, will be an extension of the Design Engineering Centers located in Peachtree City, Ga., and Southfield, Mich., and is expected to become an incubator for next-generation automotive infotainment technologies.
Being located in Midtown Atlanta will provide Panasonic the opportunity to tap into the engineering talent of one of the fastest growing high-technology areas in the nation.
The new Panasonic Automotive Innovation Center facility will be located in Centergy One, a LEED Silver-certified office tower. The Panasonic offices are designed to maximize the use of natural light and enable easy and open collaboration between its projected 40 software, electrical, systems, mechanical and other additional support personnel.
The Center expects to be able to offer at least 15 co-op positions a year to Georgia Tech students.
As today’s consumers want to seamlessly continue their connected lifestyles when they drive, the traditional car radio continues to evolve into a much more multi-functional hub device with internet and smartphone connectivity.
The development of ever more sophisticated connected systems is the top priority of automakers and suppliers like Panasonic. Creation of such systems requires extensive software development, validation and testing.
“We are excited about the opportunity to tap into the engineering talent of one of the fastest growing high-technology areas in the nation,” said Tom Gebhardt, President of Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America. “There are over 13,000 technology companies employing nearly 200,000 technology workers in Atlanta, so what better location to open our Advanced Engineering Innovation Center.
“Another driving factor for Panasonic Automotive to locate the Innovation Center in the Technology Square area was our interest to enhance our partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology. Our goal is to develop a strong partnership with the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute as well as the University’s Division of Professional Practice for employing co-ops. We feel both partnerships will provide Panasonic Automotive a continuing advantage in our development of the next generation of in-vehicle multimedia infotainment systems,” Gebhardt said.
"Panasonic's decision to open an office in the city of Atlanta is a testament to the city's strength as a technology hub," said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. "Atlanta offers an educated work force and high quality of life that companies such as Panasonic seek when recruiting R&D employees. We wholeheartedly welcome Panasonic to Midtown Atlanta."
“Georgia Tech congratulates Panasonic on its investment in this new innovation center, which will be located in Technology Square at Georgia Tech in Midtown Atlanta,” said Stephen E. Cross, executive vice president for research at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In collaboration with state and local economic development organizations, we have worked closely with Panasonic officials over the past several months to identify Georgia Tech research and education resources that will support the company’s objectives. Among the most important goals is to involve Georgia Tech students in Panasonic’s research and development program, providing our students with real-world industrial experience – and connecting the company to some of the world’s brightest and most innovative young minds.”
“Panasonic’s creation of a new R&D center in the heart of Technology Square is the perfect fit, showcasing Atlanta’s strengths as a global technology hub,” said Hans Gant, senior vice president of economic development for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “We congratulate Panasonic on their new facility, on their creation of new jobs and on their new collaborative efforts with Georgia Tech. The Metro Atlanta Chamber is pleased to have collaborated with our partners at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Invest Atlanta, Georgia Power and Georgia Tech to help bring about this significant win for our city. We look forward to a long term relationship with Panasonic as part of our overall strategy to grow Atlanta’s technology cluster.”
“This business project serves as a great example of how Georgia’s pipeline of knowledge-based talent can help global businesses like Panasonic grow and remain competitive,” said Chris Cummiskey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “As an existing Georgia company, I am glad to see Panasonic continue to expand and provide meaningful opportunities for Georgians. We look forward to the growth of this partnership, and remain committed to helping Panasonic compete here in Georgia and around the world.”
About Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America
Based in Peachtree City, and with Detroit-area operations located in Southfield, Mich., Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America is a division company of Secaucus, New Jersey-based Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation. (NYSE: PC) of Osaka, Japan.