Daniels: Saab Facility Will Have 'Enormous' Impact

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Purdue University President Mitch Daniels says today's announcement that Sweden-based Saab will establish a $37 million facility at the Discovery Park District will have a major impact on the university and state. The company plans to build an advanced manufacturing facility that will be used for the production of part of the T-X jet trainer aircraft for the U.S. Air Force and create up to 300 jobs. 

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Daniels said the announcement is a huge step forward for the district.

"It validates, I think, our innovation district concept that great companies would like to come and live on the border of a first-rate research university, that we can build a place that's really attractive for top talent to live," said Daniels. "This will help us attract faculty and students in the future that we might not otherwise have had. It certainly means that we're living up to what I think is our obligation to, in a science-based, knowledge-based world, your flagship university, your STEM-based university has a responsibility to create new jobs and open opportunity for people and this obviously is going to do exactly that."

Daniels says the facility will have more than just manufacturing.

"It's very obvious in the conversations with them, the tie-breaker was the chance to add to a top-flight manufacturing facility, which they frankly could've put a lot of places, a relationship with the faculty, the students, the research that goes on at Indiana's science and tech-based university and so that absolutely fits our concept of the kind of university we want to be in the future and now we have to come through for them. I know that our people can."

The former Indiana governor says the investment from Saab demonstrates the state's continued efforts to position itself as a great place to bring jobs and opportunities.

"I think it also shows that Indiana's really begun to diversify because, yes this will have a manufacturing component at its inception, but this is going to be a major research collaboration in a variety of high-tech areas over the years and that was always the next step beyond becoming a great place to do business. Let's have more and higher value and more diverse businesses coming here."

Construction on the Saab facility is expected to begin in 2020. 

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