Boeing would join heavy hitters such as AT&T, Home Depot, NCR and Worldpay US in developing corporate outposts near Georgia Tech, one of the world’s top engineering schools.
Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Sources: Boeing scouting sites in Atlanta for new research center

Aerospace giant Boeing is scouting sites in Midtown Atlanta for a possible research center, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned, a move that could add another blue chip name to a growing roster of corporate players locating around Georgia Tech.

The Fortune 500 maker of commercial airliners, military planes and other defense systems would join heavy hitters such as AT&T, Home Depot, NCR and Worldpay US in developing corporate outposts near one of the world’s top engineering schools.

The flurry of new research and development centers and corporate campuses in Midtown reflect the desire of companies to tap into Tech’s rich student and faculty talent. For Tech, the moves create a pipeline of jobs for graduates and possible private sector research dollars for the university at a time when federal research money is harder to find.

Two people with knowledge of the situation said Boeing and Georgia Tech officials have held high-level discussions about a potential research center near campus. Two others said that Boeing was in the market for space in Atlanta. How many jobs and what types of research wasn’t immediately clear.

In a statement, Boeing said; “We are pleased with our relationship with Georgia Tech and are continuing to talk with them about ongoing and future research projects, but we do not have anything of substance to announce at this time.”

A Georgia Tech spokeswoman did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Boeing has deep ties with Georgia Tech, including partnerships with engineering students. And the state boasts about 500 aerospace-related companies, including a Lockheed Martin manufacturing center in Marietta, and business jet giant Gulfstream employs more than 10,000 people between its headquarters in Savannah and in Brunswick.

In late 2013, Gov. Nathan Deal pitched the firm to build its next-generation 777X jetliner as the company was locked in a fight with its machinists union. Deal said at the time he was “very encouraged” but Washington State ended up getting the plant.

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