Vermeer Corporation announced its intent to build the Vermeer Applied Technology Hub in the third phase of the Iowa State Research Park. The facility will house offices, meeting space and an equipment high-bay.
This unique space will provide state-of-the-art office space to allow Iowa State students, faculty and part- and full-time Vermeer team members to work collaboratively on technology advancements for Vermeer industrial and agricultural equipment that serves 10 markets, represented by dealership coverage in more than 150 countries around the world. As technology is developed, the proposed high-bay facility will allow for testing and validation in a space that can physically accommodate Vermeer equipment.
The first priority of the space will be to create an environment for software engineers to excel in the development of practical, affordable and modular equipment technology. “In our opinion, there is no better place to allow this important work to be done than Iowa State University,” said Doug Hundt, President of Underground and Specialty Excavation Solutions at Vermeer. “While career opportunities are plentiful for software engineers today, Vermeer believes there is a highly-skilled, technical population at Iowa State who would also be inspired by the tangibility of turning the wrenches and seeing how the software comes to life.”
While the facility will be developed with the technical needs of an engineering facility in mind, opportunities exist across many disciplines. “The Vermeer Applied Technology Hub is intended to be a hotspot of ideation for the way we design, manufacture and support the equipment and the customers who buy it,” said Mark Core, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Vermeer. “Not only does this create opportunities for full-time students at Iowa State to have close-to-campus, real-life experience including part-time work and internships, but also creates an offsite, desirable location for full-time Vermeer team members, seeking to live in Ames or pursue additional education through Iowa State University.”
In 2012, Vermeer was the first Iowa-based manufacturing corporation to create an office presence in Iowa State University’s Research Park as a way to engage future workforce and benefit from increased collaboration with academia. Since then, there have been seven Capstone projects where the company and ISU students have partnered together to advance the educational instruction of students using real-life opportunities. In addition, more than 25 students and company team members utilize the office each year.
Vermeer CEO Mary Andringa said, “We are excited to continue our relationship with Iowa State to demonstrate how partnership between Iowa’s education system and private industry can best be applied. When the state, our education system, and the state’s private industry come together, strong economic development potential can follow.”