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Ann Arbor Welcomes Sartorius’ Advanced Bioanalytics Center, Bolstering Local Biotech Sector

June 7, 2024 Regional Updates

The life science group Sartorius opened its new Center of Excellence for Bioanalytics today in Ann Arbor, two years after breaking ground on Research Park Drive in the City of Ann Arbor. Sartorius has invested approximately $100 million in this state-of-the-art facility, which consolidates existing sites and functions in Ann Arbor. The number of employees at the site is expected to double over time.

“Sartorius is a leading provider of highly automated bioanalytical solutions that are used in the discovery and development of innovative biopharmaceutical drugs,” says Dr. Alexandra Gatzemeyer, head of the lab products and services division and a member of the executive board at Sartorius.

The 130,000-square-foot facility houses modern manufacturing and service areas, biology labs, a warehouse, office and training spaces, and a Customer Interaction Center (CIC). Sartorius will develop and manufacture a range of bioanalytical instruments at this site, including associated reagents, consumables, and software solutions. Additionally, the company will provide particle validation services and produce microcarriers used in cell culture processes.

Ann Arbor SPARK played a critical role in facilitating this project from its inception at the end of 2020. SPARK was instrumental in securing various incentives and support necessary for the development, including:

  • State Level Incentives: Collaborated with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to secure a Business Development Program (BDP) grant and a Brownfield Tax Increment Financing (TIF) incentive. Additionally, worked with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to obtain Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) support for repaving Research Park Drive.
  • Site Preparation: Secured a $100,000 support grant through MEDC for marketing and Brownfield preparation costs.
  • Local Level Incentives: Facilitated the approval of local Brownfield TIF and PA 198 property tax abatements.

SPARK also provided pathways and strategies for talent acquisition to ensure the company could efficiently staff the new facility. They created marketing materials about the Ann Arbor region to share with incoming employees from other areas, highlighting the region’s advantages. Throughout the process, SPARK offered significant consultative support to both the developer and Sartorius.

The Center of Excellence was built with a focus on sustainability and is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Sustainable features include green electric energy supply from 200 kilowatt solar panels, 30 electric vehicle charging stations, and Research Park’s first storm runoff pond.

“Ann Arbor is strategically located at the crossroads of talent, technology, and logistics, in close proximity to customers and renowned universities. The opening of our new building in the Tech Loop marks an important milestone for Sartorius in the Americas region, offering space for further expansion in the future,” says Maurice Phelan, president of Sartorius North America.

Sartorius has been present in Ann Arbor for several years, following the acquisitions of Ann Arbor-based businesses Essen BioScience in 2017 and SoloHill in 2020. In total, around 2,600 employees work for Sartorius at 12 sites across North America.

Sartorius is a leading international partner in life sciences research and biopharmaceutical manufacturing. The Group’s lab products and services division focuses on laboratories performing research and quality control at pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies as well as academic research institutes. The Bioprocess Solutions division, with its broad product portfolio focusing on single-use solutions, helps customers manufacture biotech medications, vaccines, and cell and gene therapies.

Based in Göttingen, Germany, Sartorius has a global reach with around 60 production and sales sites worldwide. In 2023, the company generated sales revenue of approximately 3.4 billion euros and currently employs around 14,600 people.