DuPont opens new R&D operation in Detroit image

Chemical giant DuPont Company has opened an R&D operation in suburban Detroit that has as mission to boost the collaboration between its automotive customers and its 9,500 researchers around the world.

Located inside DuPont’s Automotive Development Center, the 3,000-square-foot Innovation Center is DuPont’s first in the United States and fourth worldwide with an automotive focus. Its other automotive centers are in Pune, India; Seoul, Korea; and Nagoya, Japan. The company wouldn’t disclose the cost of the Innovation Center. The operation north of Detroit has several meeting areas with videoconferencing capabilities.

DuPont has more than 100 product lines in the auto industry, which is hugely important to the company, said Thomas Connelly, executive vice president of DuPont. Connelly added only a handful of jobs will be created initially and the investment is modest, but the true value is in providing a way to work with customers and innovators around the world and around the clock to keep pace with the fast-moving cycles of industry today.

DuPont will generate more than $3 billion in sales to the auto industry on a continuing basis after the chemical giant agreed to sell its Performance Coatings unit to Carlyle Group, according to a spokeswoman. The sale is expected to be finalized in early 2013.