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Mind Is the Matter
Bruce Brownlee (left) of Toyota Technical Center USA has seen the gradual growth of the division's Ann Arbor complex enhanced by proximity to engineering talent. TTC's most recent outgrowth is an expansion of the Calty Design Research studio (above right).
Corporate attention grabbed by Upper Midwest's brainpower.



ven if scholastic memorabilia company Josten's is moving some of its diploma manufacturing capabilities to other regions (Kansas and Tennessee), the Minnesota company and its regional brethren still know the higher learning advantages of the Upper Midwest.
      Across the region, straight talk is a defining cultural feature -- and a refreshing, positive business-climate factor to many wheel-and-deal-weary executives. But what also comes with the Upper Midwest territory is a critical mass of high-caliber people, institutions and existing facilities -- threads that have sewn up a reputation for equally high-caliber R&D and headquarters operations.
      That's why, even though the South continues to draw interest from the automotive sector, economic developers there and in other regions continue to try and emulate the Upper Midwest's R&D infrastructure. In fact, in July 2004, the Southern Growth Policies Board began conducting a survey investigating "drivers for industrial R&D" in order to "illuminate university-company relationships."
      Here's an illuminating overview of the human, institutional and real estate capital that continues to undergird new corporate capital investment in the Upper Midwest: where straight talk is backed by straightforward knowledge.

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