Researched by Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas)–The pharmaceutical industry and its major players seem to be issuing grim news releases, announcing severe job cuts and plant closings on a regular basis. Thankfully, the bad news sometimes translates into good. Such is the case with Pfizer's $50 million gift to Michigan State University (MSU) in the form of a 138,000-square-foot research and development facility and pilot plant.

Located in Holland, Michigan, the building will find new life as a bioeconomy research center and business incubator under MSU's direction. It will expand the school's research with a focus on biomaterials, biofuels and bio-based chemicals. The center will support a statewide program to diversify and enhance Michigan's economic base. The transformation of the facility, which includes 37,000 liters of chemical reactor capacity with centralized automatic controls, lab space for up to 100 researchers, a 125-seat auditorium, a library, an atrium and offices, is expected to cost no more than $5 million. The site could be open as early as this fall.

A major proponent of the deal was Lakeshore Advantage, the Holland-area economic development organization. Beyond working with Pfizer, Lakeshore helped MSU secure funding in the form of state grants. As for the manufacturing plant that remains on the 46-acre Pfizer site, the company has decided to demolish the building this year after failing to secure a buyer during a two-year search.