Plastics compounder A Schulman says it recently opened global innovation centers in Kerpen, Germany (near Cologne), and in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, one of the main industrial centers in central Mexico.
The centers will enable Schulman its partners and customers to undertake research and development activities that are of shared interest, the company said.
"We are very pleased to have these opportunities to work so closely with some of our key customers and suppliers to address the very important need for market-driven innovation," said Patricia M. Mishic, vice president and chief marketing officer.
"Expanding these critical relationships will help align our global technology and product development efforts with the current requirements and emerging needs of our customers and end-markets, she continued.
The symbiotic relationships and our joint commitment to innovation will enable us to bring new solutions to markets quicker and more effectively as well as leverage these solutions to additional geographies and markets with similar unmet needs."
At the A. Schulman Academy in Germany, participants will be able to combine research and innovation in plastics engineering and application technology with specific product developments and intensive user training, according to the company.
The Academy will provide access to high-level machinery and laboratory space. The customer-specific optimization of manufacturing processes will also be an important part of the Academy's training and development schedule, the company says.
In Mexico, the POLYnnova Group is based on an open innovation model and manages the development of collaborative business projects through networks comprised of customers, suppliers, academic institutions and research centers, Schulman said.
Initial areas of emphasis will be technology for agriculture and aquaculture materials, sustainable material technologies, and nanomaterials.