Marking an investment of KRW266-billion (€213 million), the seven-story Technodome has floorspace totalling 96,328m2 and is equipped with over 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, said Cho, who is also chief corporate management officer of Hankook Tire.
Approximately 2.3% of Hankook Tire’s total sales is invested in R&D annually, said Cho, 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, said Cho, noting that the company currently employs 1,000 R&D staff – about 5% 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.
“A tire is an outcome of integration of physics, chemistry, material engineering, environmental engineering and many other sciences,” commented Cho. “Also, there are test engineers who participate in every step of testing to prove the research results.”
According to Cho, Techno- dome will take a central role in Hankook’s R&D effort, working in co-operation with technical centres in North America, Europe, China and Japan.
“Global-scale R&D plans will be incubated in cooperation with other global R&D centres of Hankook Tire at Hankook Technodome,” he commented.