MilliporeSigma said today it will build a new $115 million campus in Burlington, MA, that will function as a major site for the North American life science business of Merck KGaA.

The campus will include a 280,000-square-foot building containing a customer collaboration laboratory and training center as well as office space. The building is intended to serve as a global customer destination, housing a customer service and call center as well as a collaboration space that will replace the flagship M Lab™ at the company's Billerica, MA, facility.

Replacing the M Lab will be a new “M Lab™ Collaboration Center.” It will serve as a site for hands-on training, customer experiments, and application troubleshooting in a non-GMP environment, MilliporeSigma said, enabling company scientists and engineers to work with customers in addressing life science challenges.

The collaboration center is one of nine such centers envisioned worldwide by MilliporeSigma, with other centers planned for Brazil, China, France, India, Singapore, and South Korea.

The Billerica site’s current workforce of 850 full-time employees will all relocate to the Burlington campus upon completion of construction, which MilliporeSigma said is expected in the second half of 2017.

The company will retain its remaining 250 Massachusetts employees at its current sites in Bedford and Danvers, The Boston Globe reported.

MilliporeSigma will lease the five-story, single-tenant building, which is being built by The Gutierrez Company near Route 3 and Route 128. The site includes rights allowing for expansion by an additional 70,000 square feet.

The company’s expansion within Massachusetts is being supported by the Commonwealth through its MassWorks Infrastructure Program, through which local municipalities and other eligible public entities can seek public infrastructure funding toward projects that promote economic development and job creation.

“This new and more expansive MilliporeSigma campus gives us a unique, multiuse life science hub in the United States—one that provides our employees and customers with a sustainable and collaborative working environment,” said MilliporeSigma CEO Udit Batra, who is also a member of Merck KGaA’s Executive Board.

The new building will be certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, MilliporeSigma said.

MilliporeSigma said it will maintain its other North American life science hub in St. Louis, the former headquarters site of Sigma-Aldrich until Merck KGaA acquired the company for $17 billion in a deal completed last November.

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