UTC announces new investments; unveils East Hartford project

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EAST HARTFORD – While unveiling a newly completed facility, United Technologies Corp (UTC) announced two new projects on its East Hartford campus.

On Friday, UTC held a formal ribbon cutting ceremony for its new $60 million “Innovation Hub” in East Hartford. The project was a partial expansion and a partial refurbishment of a United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) facility. The research and development hub serves UTC’s businesses around the state.

UTC Chief Executive Officer Greg Hayes said, "Fred Rentschler started Pratt & Whitney in 1925 in Connecticut and it has remained our home since then. I think there’s no more embodiment of that commitment than this building here today.”

During the ceremony, UTRC also announced two new projects in East Hartford. The first is a $75 million additive manufacturing Center of Excellence to be completed in fall of 2017. Their work in additive manufacturing also known as 3-D printing, will help develop materials and parts for all of UTC.

The second investment is a $40 million engine compressor research facility large enough for engineers to work on full scale jet engine compressor hardware. It comes as welcome news just days after Aetna announced it is looking to move its headquarters out of Hartford.

UTC leadership said there are advantages of remaining in Connecticut and are continuing to build in the same area.

"The advantage is a lot of the technologies we’re doing next, I talked about. Such as advanced manufacturing things in cyber physical security, builds on expertise we already have here in material science, in computer modeling. So rather than have pieces distributed, we like it all together because on a lunch break people bump into each other and talk. This is the secret of innovation,” said UTRC Director Dr. David Parekh.

All of these projects are the result of a 2014 deal called the Connecticut Aerospace Reinvestment Act. UTC was offered tax credits in exchange for investments like these.

Governor Dannel Malloy said, "I think what this demonstrates is when a company reinvests in itself in the Greater Hartford area, it gets a good return on investment.”