The Hankook Technodome is located in Daejeon, South Korea
The official opening of the ‘Hankook Technodome’ took place today. The tyre maker’s new central research and development centre is located in Daejeon, South Korea, not far from its existing (and still operational) R&D centre, and is described by the company as “an embodiment of Hankook Tire’s strong commitment in R&D innovation” and a “core instrument” of Hankook’s global R&D infrastructure.
“Hankook Technodome is equipped with the high-tech facilities and the optimal work environment to strengthen our global competitiveness through innovation, while actively dealing with rapid changes in the business environment and delivering products optimised for various customers’ needs,” stated Seung Hwa Suh, vice-chairman and chief executive officer of Hankook Tire, at the centre’s opening. “I believe the new Hankook Technodome will be a great foundation to lead the future of tire technology, as it symbolises optimised process in development of future technologies and securing original technologies through strengthening our headway towards a global top-tier company.”
The distinctive Hankook Technodome building was designed by Foster + Partners, an architectural firm founded by Sir Norman Foster, and erected with a total investment of KRW 266.4 billion (£192.1 million). Eco-friendly materials were used in the facility, including recyclable building materials. The R&D centre is equipped with both a water-saving facility and a recharging system that utilises alternative energy sources such as geothermal and solar power. A carbon dioxide sensor system warns when a set level is exceeded and directs an active air-conditioning system. Low emission vehicles can park in designated priority areas within the basement car park, which itself has been designed to reduce the thermal island effect which increases the temperature of concentrated areas compared to their surroundings.
The R&D centre’s 96,328 square metre floor space is distributed amongst a six-level R&D building and an eight storey employee residence building that is equipped with a range of facilities, including a fitness centre, medical clinics, a café and a day care centre.
The R&D centre itself will play a central role in research and development, serving as a hub for cooperation with Hankook Tire’s technical centres in North America, Europe, China and Japan. The centre is equipped with a range of state-of-the-art research and testing facilities. It features a Driving Simulation system as well as ‘SPMM (Suspension Parameter Measuring Machine)’ to carry out virtual tests and record digital results. Hankook Tire will also showcase future technology integrating eco-friendly material, new material development, and simulation technology as well as networking technology at the Hankook Technodome.
Another, indirect role the Hankook Technodome will play is to assist Hankook Tire in the task of holding onto its engineers. A representative from Hankook Tire recently commented to Tyrepress.com that “recruiting the right people not the only challenge, keeping them is also a challenge as engineers with experience at Hankook are very sought after in Korea.” He voiced an expectation that the Technodome will help Hankook Tire retain its skilled personnel.
One way Hankook Tire will achieve this is through the use of ‘proactive culture’ at the Hankook Technodome. The maker describes proactive culture as “a corporate culture characterised by active and innovative agents of work.” To facilitate this, space at the Hankook Technodome has been optimised to “enable employees to achieve their best in a creative environment through effective communication and interaction.” Hankook Tire shares that the flow of human traffic at the R&D centre was “carefully designed to facilitate optimal communication among researchers.” Ten independent offices and laboratories are now housed under the same roof – an arrangement that, according to Hankook Tire, symbolises that “all the offices are of one company.”