KALAMAZOO — A major expansion by Stryker Corp.could provide a welcome shot in the arm for Southwest Michigan’s life sciences sector.
Last month, the Kalamazoo-based medical device manufacturer announced a $130 million project to build a new research and design center for its Stryker Instruments division in Portage.
While Stryker (NYSE: SYK) views the expansion as a way to create a hub for the company’s global customer base, other industry insiders see it as a needed step in further establishing Southwest Michigan as a primarily player in the national life sciences sector.
“For us, it’s clear that when you have a headquarters expansion like this, with that comes capacity that you just don’t get otherwise,” said Ron Kitchens, president and CEO ofSouthwest Michigan First, a Kalamazoo-based regional economic development firm. “It will be growth in senior executive jobs, research and development and then you combine that with the R&D we’re doing around design with Western (Michigan University’s) new design facility and we think it means a really strong future with the device and medical products side.”