Jabil Circuit is expanding its research and development lab in St. Pete to make way for an emerging new technology – that which one can wear. The company recently purchased the Finnish company Clothing+.
The company integrates electronic devices into clothing. They were behind Victoria’s Secret’s Smart Bra that allows users to track their heart rate through the bra rather than having to wear a more conventional belt to do so.
The industry is expected to eventually reach $60 billion. For now though, the Jabil expansion will only include about seven researchers. Those engineers will be transplants from Finland and will work directly with consumers to determine how to best create wearable technology.
“I am excited for their new venture into wearable technologies, for the jobs they will create, and for their continued investment in our community,” St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman told the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
The move represents a win for St. Pete as officials continue to put emphasis on attracting new businesses and promoting expansion of existing ones. The move marks what has been continued growth in the city since after the Great Recession.
Last year Jabil pulled in a net revenue of nearly $18 billion making it St. Pete’s largest company. The tech company recently also expanded into St. Pete’s Ceridian building on the 34th Street Corridor near Maximo.
The new research operations will be housed in a new building near Jabil’s existing headquarters on North Ninth Street that was just purchased in October. Strategic development for the company will also be housed in the same building.