Merck & Co. made headlines in March with the announcement that it would build an IT hub in Austin, bringing hundreds of jobs. Now news is emerging about where the pharmaceutical company plans to start off that hub.
Merck employees will begin working in early 2018 on the Dell Medical School campus, inside the Health Discovery Building. But the company hasn’t clarified whether it will expand that lease – initially for 22,310 square feet – to eventually accommodate its planned 600 employees, or whether it will look to another location.
Merck told the Austin Business Journal that it “is still finalizing plans for the Austin IT Hub location. No final decision has been made regarding building a new facility.”
The company also told the ABJ that it will have some employees in Capital Factory downtown, in order to connect with Austin’s startup community.
Merck, as well as other health care companies, decided to locate in Austin in part because of the new Dell Medical School, as well as Austin’s high tech industry.
“This center is an anchor for the digital transformation of our core business,”Jim Ciriello, associate vice president of IT planning and innovation at Merck, said in a statement about the Austin IT center. “It will open the door to more collaboration across our core and emerging businesses, and create opportunities to connect with people and organizations who are passionate about shaping computer science to improve health care.”
Merck has three other IT hubs globally, in Prague, Singapore, and in its corporate headquarters in New Jersey.
Austin incentivized the Merck move with an agreement to pay the company up to $856,000 over 10 years if it complies with hiring requirements: an average salary of at $84,586 and at least $28.7 million in capital investment.