Covestro reports that it is further accelerating its global R&D capabilities with the recent upgrade of its Innovation Center Japan. According to the company, the facility is ready and equipped to further provide innovative solutions and material developments focusing particularly on the automotive and construction segments. The laboratory upgrade will reportedly further increase prototype capabilities to create innovative solutions for Japanese industrial partners and customers. 

According to Covestro, the center started as the technical division of Japanese joint venture Sumika Covestro Urethane, which marked its 50th anniversary on September 1, 2019. Business Units Polyurethanes (PU) and Coating, Adhesive and Specialties (CAS) started technical activities in 1971, followed by Business Unit Polycarbonates (PCS) in 2009. Since then, the Innovation Center Japan has reportedly played an important role as an integral part of the Covestro R&D global network, including Germany, the U.S., and China. 

“The renewal of the Innovation Center Japan lab area will enable closer and more intensive cooperation with global leading companies in Japan,” said CEO Markus Steilemann, Ph.D., who celebrated the lab inauguration with the Japanese team. “The joint innovation power is a main driver for our success in key industries.”

For example, a new high-performance PU R&D installation with power-assist devices reportedly supports customers in prototyping larger PU panels. Another example is the two-component injection molding installation and DirectCoating DirectSkinning (DCDS) technology from the PCS and CAS units to drive innovation with Japanese partners and customers. 

In addition to the upgraded lab, the Customer Experience Center Lounge has been created to enhance interactions in value-added innovation and better involve Japanese customers. It will reportedly be positioned as the point of intersection between the latest global technical trends from Covestro worldwide and ideas from customers. 

Covestro reports that digitalization is one of the important pillars of its innovation strategy. The newly equipped lab is now expanding its digitalization in R&D by focusing particularly on data-driven development with newly hired data scientists. Further, simulation, hardware installation, and laboratory automation will reportedly be developed in close collaboration with the Covestro global digital R&D network.

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