September 8 saw Embraer open a new, 75,000 sq.ft. Engineering & Technology Center in Melbourne, Florida, the aircraft maker’s first such facility outside of Brazil, where the company is headquartered.
The facility is intended to be used for engineering and development activities for both product and technology development across Embraer’s business lines, with the first assignments primarily focused on executive jet interiors. It will include a laboratory for the development and testing of materials and interior components. Features include 3D CAD, CFD, Finite Element Modeling, a 3D Virtual Reality center, prototype capabilities and sophisticated laboratories and test equipment.
“As we celebrate the 35th anniversary of our North American presence this month, we are once again expanding our longstanding relationship with the State of Florida and the Brevard community with the opening of a cutting-edge Engineering & Technology Center,” said Frederico Fleury Curado, Embraer’s president and CEO. “With the highly qualified team of engineers that will work in these offices and laboratories, we will bring the most advanced solutions to our customers.”
The center is located on General Aviation Drive at Melbourne International Airport on 13 acres of land facing the existing Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 final assembly facility and the Embraer Executive Jets Customer Center, which were opened in 2009 and 2011, respectively. 70 engineers have already been hired for the facility, and they have been operating in a temporary facility near the airport since 2012. Employment is scheduled to ramp up to a total of 200 by 2016.
According to Embraer, one of the key drivers for choosing Melbourne was its skilled labor force. Additionally, the availability of land for a green field start-up was important, as were proximity to established operations and the pro-business climate in Florida, Brevard County and the City of Melbourne.
Florida’s Secretary of Commerce, Gray Swoope, said of Embraer’s growing presence in Florida, “When Governor Scott and I visited Embraer’s R&D center in Brazil in 2011, we were able to see first-hand what having them here could do for Florida. Because of the strong partnerships between Enterprise Florida, the Space Coast EDC, Brevard County, the Melbourne International Airport and Space Florida, we can bring competitive, game-changing projects like this new Center of Excellence to Florida. Embraer could have located this new engineering facility anywhere in the world, but they chose Florida and we appreciate their continued commitment to the state.”