DAEJEON, South Korea—The recently opened Hankook Technodome research center represents a significant step forward for Hankook Tire Co. Inc.'s research and development infrastructure, according to Hyun Bum Cho, president and chief corporate strategy & finance officer of Hankook Tire Worldwide.
Marking an investment of $234 million, the seven-story Technodome has floorspace totalling 316,000 square feet and is equipped with more than 90 state-of-the-art research labs and a smart-work system. The facility is designed to improve R&D efficiency and productivity of the tire development process.
Technodome is part of Hankook's plans to achieve sustainable growth and become a global top-tier company, Cho said, who is also chief corporate management officer of Hankook Tire.
Approximately 2.3 percent of Hankook Tire's total sales is invested in R&D annually, Cho said, adding that the company expects this level to grow in-line with anticipated increases in its global market-share.
As part of its R&D push, Hankook seeks to attract top global talent, Cho said, noting that the company currently employs 1,000 R&D staff—about 5 percent of its total workforce—and aims to house 1,000 R&D staff at the Technodome by the year 2020.
The Technodome, he added, employs numerous test engineers as well as researchers who study materials, mechanism, integration of material, tire performance and many other aspects of tires.