FINDLAY, Ohio—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s plans for a Global Technical Center are back on track after being delayed for a year by the firm's proposed merger with Apollo Tyres Ltd.
The $35.5 million Global Technical Center will be located at Cooper's headquarters in Findlay along with its existing North America Technical Center. It ultimately will employ 40 scientists and engineers and is expected to be operational by year-end.
The tire manufacturer originally announced the global tech center in February 2013, receiving approval from the Ohio Third Frontier Commission for a $2.8 million grant as an industrial research and development program.
However, after plans to merge with Apollo were disclosed in May, the project was put on hold.
“We put the Global Tech Center on pause while we took stock of what the combined company technical assets were going to look like and how best to structure and execute our technology innovation capabilities under a new combined entity,” Roy Armes, Cooper chairman, CEO and president, said during an event June 23 in Findlay to mark the official announcement of the GTC.
Cooper terminated its proposed merger with Apollo in December.
“With the merger behind us, we promptly went back to our original plans for the global tech center,” Armes said.
The GTC will have a dedicated research and development team, Cooper said, focused on exploring areas such as nanotechnology and new polymers and compounds. The center will be under the direct leadership of Cooper's Global Technical Center Director Curt Selhorst and will support Cooper's NATC as well as the regional technical centers of its subsidiaries—the recently opened Asia Technical Center in Kunshan, China, and the Europe Technical Center in Melksham, England.