Bolstered by better than expected revenue, the disc driver maker has reversed plans to convert a state-of-the-art nanotech facility in Edina into the Minnesota Center of Excellence in Nanotechnology. Seagate, based in Scotts Valley, California, has major operations in the Twin Cities.
The company originally planned to use the $100 million, 58,000 foot building as a hub for nanotech research and manufacturing. However, stung by a $3 billion loss in fiscal 2009, Seagate changed its mind and explored the possibility of leasing the space to a private/public consortium whose members included executives from Medtronic Inc., Mayo Clinic, and the BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota.
The idea was to create a place where medical and biotech companies could use Seagate’s equipment to develop new technologies based on the emerging science of manipulating matter less than 1/10,000 the width of a human hair. The BioBusiness Alliance even held discussions with SUNY Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering about a possible partnership.
But the funniest thing happened: Seagate started to make money again. The company recently reported a second quarter profit of $533 million based on sales of $3 billion compared to a loss of $2.8 billion on sales of $2.3 billion during the same period a year ago.
With business humming again, Seagate decided to keep the Edina facility after all.