Company purchases three-story building for new facility that will serve as a hub for developing “smart city” technologies with academic, government and community partners
MADISON – Governor Scott Walker is commending the Foxconn Technology Group today for announcing their plans to open an innovation center in downtown Racine in which the company will work with community partners to develop and implement “smart city” innovations.
Foxconn Place Racine and the Wisconn Valley Innovation Center will connect Foxconn with institutions of higher education, businesses, local governments and the community to bring “smart city” research and development to the Racine area and beyond.
“Today’s announcement once again demonstrates the company’s commitment to not only creating a $10 billion world-class advanced manufacturing campus that will employ 13,000 people, but to working with key stakeholders to position Wisconsin as a global leader in technology and innovation,” said Governor Walker. “This is another example of the ‘Foxconn Bonus’ that we’re seeing throughout the state that will create jobs, support startups, and spur innovation.”
The 46,000-square-foot, three-story building at 1 Main St. along the Root River will become a state-of-the-art co-working space and a model for “smart city” pilot programs that reflect the transformational technologies created by the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park. “Smart cities” involve the integration of digital technology with government functions to improve efficiency in everyday processes — things such as parking, street lighting and timing of traffic signals.
"Foxconn looks forward to working with the local governments, academic institutions and businesses who share in its goal to see Racine transform into a technologically sophisticated environment that is at the cutting-edge of innovative solutions never before made in North America,” said Alan Yeung, Foxconn’s Director of U.S. Strategic Initiatives, who joined the state and local officials in making the announcement in Racine Tuesday. “This will contribute to our commitment to help position Wisconsin as a global hub for high-tech talent and businesses."
Located near Gateway Technical College, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, and Carthage College, Foxconn Place Racine will act as the regional center for smart city research and development. Because of its proximity to Mount Pleasant, the facility also will help attract and recruit knowledge workers as part of Foxconn's commitment to creating 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin.
Local officials welcomed the opportunities for innovation and collaboration that Foxconn Place Racine and the Wisconn Valley Innovation Center will bring to the community.
“Having Foxconn locate its innovation center in the heart of our downtown could be a game changer for the city. We know opportunity is coming to the area, and it is my job to make sure that those opportunities benefit as many of our residents as possible,” said Racine Mayor Cory Mason. “With Foxconn’s commitment to our community and with the quality of jobs it will bring to the City of Racine, I know this will spur additional growth and investment in our city.”
“Foxconn’s investment in Racine County is already historic and transformative, and Foxconn Place Racine strengthens our position as the new epicenter for technology and innovation,” said County Executive Jonathan Delagrave. “We are grateful that Foxconn’s partnership and confidence in Racine County continues to open up extraordinary opportunities for our community.”
“As we learned during the Smart Future Summit at UW-Parkside in August, smart cities technology will revolutionize our communities,” said UW-Parkside Chancellor Deborah L. Ford. “The new research and learning lab is an exciting partnership that will provide opportunities for our students and faculty to live and lead in smart cities.”
The new centers in Racine will complement the company’s “Smart Cities – Smart Futures Competition,” in which students, faculty and staff at public and private Wisconsin colleges and universities can compete for up to $1 million in prizes by developing ideas for smart, connected communities and systems throughout the state.
The company already has announced plans for three other innovation centers that will be cornerstones in the AI 8K+5G ecosystem Foxconn is building in Wisconsin: its North American headquarters in Milwaukee, Foxconn Place Chippewa Valley in Eau Claire and Foxconn Place Green Bay. Those centers also will serve as a way for the company to attract talent, connect with potential supply chain providers, and align with potential partners.
The Racine centers will be located a few miles away from Mount Pleasant, where Foxconn is building a $10 billion advanced manufacturing campus that is expected to create up to 13,000 direct jobs, tens of thousands of indirect jobs and thousands of construction jobs. Once the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park is fully operational, Foxconn is expected to make $4.26 billion in supplier purchases annually, with roughly one-third being sourced from Wisconsin. The project is expected to have at least a $7 billion annual economic impact on the state and generate between $116 and $157 million in state tax revenue annually once fully operational.
Construction is well underway at the campus and Foxconn’s “Wisconsin First” approach already is creating jobs throughout the state. Ninety percent of the construction and infrastructure contracts that have been awarded so far have gone to companies with operations in Wisconsin. Those companies are from 68 different communities in 26 counties.
In addition, more than 3,000 people residing in 65 counties are currently working on construction or public infrastructure projects related to the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park.