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Axalta Opens World's Largest Research & Development Center Dedicated to Coatings and Color at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia


We have recently celebrated the official opening of our Global Innovation Center, the largest coatings research and development (R&D) center in the world, with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The 175,000-foot Global Innovation Center offers unparalleled specialty labs, as well as office space. Its location in Philadelphia's historic Navy Yard enables collaboration among our employees, business partners, and customers throughout the Philadelphia area and beyond.

"Axalta's Global Innovation Center will become the central hub for our global research, product development, and technology initiatives where we develop and deliver the most innovative coatings products in the world," said Robert Bryant, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Axalta. "Whether in colour technology, polymer and formulation chemistry, or application knowledge, the world-class capabilities and talent at Axalta's Global Innovation Center will fuel new products and deliver the solutions that our customers want to grow their businesses into the future."

"Five years ago, Axalta showed its commitment to Philadelphia by relocating its global headquarters to Center City,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Today, they open the doors to the Global Innovation Center, bringing new, highly-skilled jobs to Philadelphia."

The Navy Yard location offers an attractive workplace for new talent, and the Axalta campus was built with researchers in mind, modeling an academic setting with a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces to foster teamwork and creativity.

"Axalta's team of scientists and technicians at the Global Innovation Center will develop next generation coatings products and keep pace with emerging application needs," said Barry Snyder, Axalta's Chief Technology Officer. "Regulations and customer demands call for newer technologically advanced coatings. The increasing use of light-weight plastic and composite materials in vehicles to save fuel require new coatings formulations. Developing products to suit these and other needs will be the mission of the Global Innovation Center and Axalta's worldwide research and development network."

The building, which is owned and developed by Liberty Property/Synterra, was designed by Erdy McHenry and merges design elements present throughout the Navy Yard. The front of the building is reminiscent of the classically inspired buildings preserved in the adjacent historic core of the Navy Yard, while the back of the building resembles the lofts and warehouse facilities nearby. The front of the building also features a two-story glass façade to maximize daylight while utilizing angled vanes to reduce glare and shade staff from the low angles of the late afternoon sun.

"Today we celebrate this exceptional new building and our strong partnership with Axalta, which entrusted Liberty with the important job of designing and developing their first Global Innovation Center," said John Gattuso, senior vice president and regional director for Liberty Property Trust. "As the hub for vital research and development functions, every detail of the building has been arranged with the intention to excite and inspire all who work or visit. In the Navy Yard, Axalta will also benefit from the campus-like and collaborative environment set among many other leading-edge companies in their respective fields."

The morning ribbon cutting began with a ceremonial rendition of the national anthem by the choir of Serviam Girls Academy, based in New Castle, Delaware. Axalta has partnered with Serviam as part of its commitment to STEM education, which includes the Axalta All-Pro Teachers Program with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Philadelphia Science Festival with the Franklin Institute, and several other programs that honor STEM educators and students throughout Greater Philadelphia, North America, and other regions globally.