Nexen Tire has opened its new US$169m (KRW 200bn) research and development center in Seoul, Korea. The Nexen UniverCity will act as a central hub for all technical activities, supported by the tire maker’s other R&D centers in Yangsan and Changnyeong, South Korea; Germany and Czech Republic in Europe; the USA; and China.
An opening ceremony was attended by more than 300 people, including Nexen Tire chairman Kang Byeong Jung, CEO Travis Kang, chairman of the Korea Employers Federation Sohn Kyung Shik, chairman of the Federation of the Middle Market Enterprise of Korea Kang Ho Gab, as well as other Nexen executives and employees.
Located at the Magok Industrial Complex, the 57,000m2 building has eight floors above ground and two underground. It took two years to develop. The workspace has been designed as an open environment to maximize concentration and teamwork and foster innovation.
Housed inside are product development facilities, tools for developing intelligent tire technologies such as AI, virtual engineering capabilities, a performance research center for evaluating tires and vehicles, and a materials center where research will be undertaken at the nano and macro scale.
An environmentally friendly building, power for the facility is produced by the solar panels on the roof. There is also a cooling and heating ventilation ground system, and a green rooftop to prevent thermal heat damage, which obtained a level 1 building energy efficiency rating certificate from the Korea Energy Agency.
“The Magok central research institute really defines Nexen Tire’s growth DNA and its identity that has advanced quicker than any other company in the world,” said Kang. “The facility will have a pivotal global role, shifting the paradigm in the tire industry by creating new changes and future values that no-one has seen before.”