SOLON, OHIO — Nestle is investing $53 million to expand its R.&D. center in Solon into a product technology center to help further frozen and chilled foods research.

“We are pleased that the R.&D. effort first established in Solon in 2001 to serve our regional needs has matured into a global product technology center,” said Johannes Baensch, global head of research and development. “We currently operate 11 product technology centers around the world. P.T.C. Solon will become the twelfth of these important centers of excellence for Nestle. Here we will establish a critical mass of technology expertise and product knowledge for our global Nestle frozen and chilled foods business.”

The new facility will be 144,000 square feet and include a pilot plant and offices and laboratories for 100 staff members. It is expected to open by late 2014.

The facility will help with the global business, but also will support domestic brands such as Stouffer’s, Lean Cuisine, Hot Pockets, Lean Pockets, DiGiorno, California Pizza Kitchen, Tombstone, and Jack’s.