LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany—BASF is looking to take a big step forward in the the footwear industry by investing in research and development worldwide. Without disclosing the total investment in the expansions, the company spotlighted the opening of its development centers in the U.S. and Thailand, as well as the launch of innovation center project in Taiwan and the expansion of an existing development center in Italy.
"The Footwear Development Center located in Italy is considered a pioneer in the industry, as it was the first that brought material expertise and innovation under one roof in this fashion and footwear hub," Thomas Bartz, BASF's European business manager consumer, said in a statement. "We now can connect designers and brand owners to material innovation and production, be it Europe, the U.S. or Asia."
The U.S. lab, in Wyandotte, Mich., features 2,000 square feet, and is equipped with advanced footwear machinery for outsole, midsole and unit sole developments. The facility's goal is to help speed the time to market for customers by assisting with materials testing and prototype production through polyurethane direct injection molding.
BASF noted that its center in Taiwan is stragtically located to help further footwear development throughout the Asia-Pacific region, and is focused on assisting customers with improvements in design, comfort, performance and quality.