Axalta Opens R&D Center In Philadelphia

The 175,000-square-foot Global Innovation Center at the Philadelphia Navy Yard is the world's largest research & development center dedicated to coatings and color.

Axalta, a global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, recently celebrated the opening of its Global Innovation Center, the largest coatings research and development (R&D) center in the world. More than 200 engineers and scientists will work at the 175,000-foot Global Innovation Center, which includes specialty labs and office space. Its location in Philadelphia’s historic Navy Yard enables collaboration among Axalta employees, business partners, and customers throughout the Philadelphia area and beyond.

Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Cutting the ribbon to open the Axalta Global Innovation Center are (l to r): Rob Ferris, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Axalta; Barry Snyder, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Axalta; Robert Bryant, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Axalta; Jim Kenney, Mayor, City of Philadelphia; U.S. Representative Dwight Evans (PA-D); Councilman Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District), Philadelphia City Council; John Grady, President, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation; John Gattuso, Senior Vice President and Regional Director, Liberty Property Trust and Councilman Allan Domb, (At-Large), Philadelphia City Council.

“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 color 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.”

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.

“The City of Philadelphia is known for the innovative spirit that founded our nation. This spirit still permeates today with countless companies choosing our city to put down roots for growth,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “Five years ago, Axalta showed its commitment to Philadelphia by relocating its global headquarters to Center City. Today, they open the doors to the Global Innovation Center, bringing new, highly-skilled jobs to Philadelphia. I thank Axalta for their contributions to our region and wish the company many prosperous years at the Navy Yard.”

“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.”

Navy YardThe building, 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.

“There has been a long history of innovation at the Navy Yard, from the design and construction of state-of-the-art battleships and commercial vessels to today’s leading companies working on innovations like therapies to treat cancer, electric microgrids, energy efficiency buildings, and now coatings and color technologies that are used on products all around the world,” said John Grady, President of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), master developer for the Navy Yard.

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