AkzoNobel recently announced it is investing more than €6.5 million (~ $8.85 million) in its Songjiang site near Shanghai to expand an existing research center by adding a dedicated facility for the company’s Performance Coatings businesses. Once completed in June 2015, the new development and application center will add capability and capacity to serve growing demand throughout Asia for products targeted at the packaging, coil, specialty finishes and powder coatings markets.

In addition, the extension will reportedly double the number of people working in R&D at Songjiang to around 200 over the next couple of years. When fully operational, the new laboratory will be Performance Coatings’ second-largest research and development base, after Felling in the UK.

“Boosting our R&D capabilities in Asia means we can accelerate the development and formulation of new products tailor-made for the Asian market,” said Conrad Keijzer, Executive Committee member responsible for Performance Coatings. “The expanded R&D center will therefore play a crucial role in supporting our growth ambitions—for China in particular—and will provide us with a major innovation facility located close to our customers in the region.”

For more information, visit www.akzonobel.com.