ROUND ROCK, Texas -- Gov. Rick Perry and Dell CEO Michael Dell took part in the ribbon cutting for the Emerson Innovation Center - Process Systems and Solutions in Round Rock.
The center one of three in the world. The other two are in Iowa and India.
Emerson invested nearly $70 million in the facility in Round Rock, and now has nearly 800 employees.
Peter Zornio is chief strategic officer for Emerson Process Management.
"Basically, we are opening a one-of-a-kind facility for the automation technology industry in Round Rock, Texas," said Ziornio.
He said Emerson Process Management provides automation technology for the process industries, like chemical plants, refineries or the oil and gas industry, among others.
"We provide the measurements, control solutions, valves and actuation that controls those facilities that makes them run safely and profitably," said Zornio.
One example is in an oil field. Instead of sending a technician out in remote places, equipment can help them analyze problems via computer.
David Farr is chairman and CEO of Emerson.
"We believe Texas and its energy industry is the place where we bring big data and little data together to deliver results for our customers," said Farr.
Emerson’s headquarters are in St. Louis. Gov. Rick Perry joked that he told Farr to move the headquarters to Texas, and that he still hasn’t gotten the correct answer. But the governor welcomed the center, saying the Lone Star State must keep evolving.
"And [we must] position ourselves to take advantage of the opportunities ahead. And our goal is to do it better than any other state," said Perry.
Michael Dell said Emerson and his company have worked together for 20 years, and that many of Dell's products are included in the systems Emerson sells globally.
"This innovation center will clearly be a hub for collaboration with customers," said Dell.
KVUE also spoke with economist Angelos Angelou.
"It is of huge significance to have that Emerson Innovation Center here because they are purely exporting companies," said Angelou.
That means the majority of buyers are outside Austin.
He also said research and development companies are typically stable over the years.