Ford Motor Co. chief executive Mark Fields was set to announce the opening of the Ford Research & Innovation Center in Palo Alto, California, located almost 3 miles from Stanford University. Ford is one of the many carmakers that have set up r&d centers in Silicon Valley, like Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Volkswagen Group – usually to tap the area’s talented engineers and/or collaborate with tech giants like Apple, Google and Intel.
Ford has been present in Silicon Valley since January 2012, when it opened a 10-personnel office at another location in Palo Alto to work on big data and open-source computing.
The new Ford Research & Innovation Center means more people working for the carmaker. In fact, Ford’s internal job listings have 16 open positions in Palo Alto -- engineers, researchers and programmers.
The creation of the r&d center in Palto Alto underscores the significance of Silicon Valley to Ford’s CEO, who is known to be a frequent visitor and an advocate for the carmaker to embrace new technologies and business models.
The ceremony for the opening of the new Ford Research & Innovation Center will be graced, aside from Fields, by Ford Chief Technical Officer Raj Nair and Ken Washington, Ford’s vice president of research and advanced engineering.