Hankook announces strategic R&D vision at launch of new Technodome

Hankook Tire, held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new R&D center, the Hankook Technodome, at a construction site in Daejeon, Korea. Along with the celebratory event, the company also announced its strategic R&D vision for the company’s headway into becoming a global top-tier tire brand based on technological leadership.

Hankook Tire’s mid- to long-term strategic R&D plans were laid out, including plans that called for new tire research and testing facilities, which would in turn facilitate a considerable increase in Hankook Tire’s technological capabilities. A new high-tech R&D infrastructure will be established domestically with two main bodies: the Hankook Technodome in Daeduk Innopolis, Daejeon, and the Hankook Test Engineering Center in Sangju.

The Hankook Technodome, with a total investment of KRW 266 billion, is projected to be completed by 2016. Upon completion, this iconic, high-tech facility will become an incubator for innovative new technologies with future-oriented features. Furthermore, the Hankook Test Engineering Center is expected to be completed by 2018 and will serve as a hub for tire evaluation technologies. It will also be equipped with state-of-the-art tire testing facilities. Together, the two high-tech R&D facilities will act as the core instruments of the company’s overall R&D infrastructure.

“We strongly believe that acquiring more robust, more advanced R&D capabilities is a crucial step in our growth formula towards becoming a global top-tier tire brand,” said Mr. Seung Hwa Suh, vice chairman and CEO of Hankook Tire. “The Hankook Technodome has been designed to reflect our confidence in R&D and will be a meaningful milestone in Hankook Tire’s history. In addition, combined with our proactive corporate culture, the high-tech R&D facility will provide a great foundation for us to realize a management structure based on quality and progressive leadership.”

With the new R&D infrastructure in place, the company will invest in retaining and attracting the best engineers and researchers in the field. At present, there are already about 700 researchers at Hankook Tire’s current R&D center in Korea. This number will grow to approximately 1,000 researchers at the Hankook Technodome.

Hankook Tire’s New Icon of Innovation, the Hankook Technodome

The Hankook Technodome was designed by Foster + Partners, an architectural firm founded by Sir Norman Foster. The prominent British architect and his company are famous for bold, future-oriented designs. It is no surprise then that the Hankook Technodome will take on a high-tech, cutting-edge aesthetic. However, it will also integrate an array of sophisticated features intended to stimulate creativity and improve efficiency. As such, the state-of-the-art facility will allow for a world class working environment in which the company’s researchers can dedicate themselves to setting new benchmarks in tire-related technologies.

The Hankook Technodome will boast a massive floor space of 96,328 m2 and a total land area of 70,387 m2. Inside the main research building, 90 separate laboratories will enable a wide range of R&D activities to be carried out simultaneously. 

An R&D Center with Eco-Friendly, High-Tech Features

The Hankook Technodome has been Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Level certified as a result of its eco-friendly architectural features. Organized by the U.S. Green Building Council, the LEED program recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices, and is also one of the world’s most respected green building certification programs. In order to earn Gold, building projects must satisfy a number of prerequisites and earn enough points to surpass lower levels of certification.
The Hankook Technodome’s eco-friendly features include the utilization of natural ventilation and lighting, as well as resource recycling facilities and natural shades that reduce the dependency on the building’s cooling system.

The Importance of Hankook Tire’s Unique Corporate Culture

The high-tech design of the Hankook Technodome will enhance Hankook Tire’s unique ‘Proactive Culture’. Although the main research building will consist of ten separate offices, all of them will be placed under one roof, signifying the ‘One Big Company’ with the importance of unity within the company. This in turn will help foster open communication and greater collaboration within the company’s corporate culture.

In order to promote employee welfare and a healthy work-life balance, the Hankook Technodome will take advantage of a healthcare center, a fitness center and a multimedia room.