The 175,000-foot Global Innovation Center offers unparalleled specialty labs, as well as office space. Its location in Philadelphia’s historic Navy Yard enables collaboration among Axalta employees, business partners, and customers throughout the Philadelphia area and beyond.
“Axalta’s Global Innovation Center will become the central hub for our global research, product development, and technology initiatives where we develop and deliver the most innovative coatings products in the world,” said Robert Bryant, interim CEO, Axalta. “Whether in color technology, polymer and formulation chemistry, or application knowledge, the world-class capabilities and talent at Axalta’s Global Innovation Center will fuel new products and deliver the solutions that our customers want to grow their businesses into the future.”
Bryant and Axalta Chief Technology Officer Barry Snyder were joined at the ceremony by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, PIDC President John Grady, Liberty Property Trust SVP and Regional Director John Gattuso, and Axalta employees. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf also provided remarks, heralding Axalta’s economic contributions to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with current and future jobs planned for the Global Innovation Center, in addition to those presently provided by the Company in Philadelphia, Glen Mills, and Exton.
“The City of Philadelphia is known for the innovative spirit that founded our nation. This spirit still permeates today with countless companies choosing our city to put down roots for growth,” said Mayor Kenney. “Five years ago, Axalta showed its commitment to Philadelphia by relocating its global headquarters to Center City.
"Today, they open the doors to the Global Innovation Center, bringing new, highly-skilled jobs to Philadelphia. I thank Axalta for their contributions to our region and wish the company many prosperous years at the Navy Yard.”
The Navy Yard location offers an attractive workplace for new talent, and the Axalta campus was built with researchers in mind, modeling an academic setting with a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces to foster teamwork and creativity.
“Axalta’s team of scientists and technicians at the Global Innovation Center will develop next-generation coatings products and keep pace with emerging application needs,” said Snyder. “Regulations and customer demands call for newer technologically advanced coatings. The increasing use of light-weight plastic and composite materials in vehicles to save fuel require new coatings formulations. Developing products to suit these and other needs will be the mission of the Global Innovation Center and Axalta’s worldwide research and development network.”
The building, which is owned and developed by Liberty Property/Synterra, was designed by Erdy McHenry and merges design elements present throughout the Navy Yard. The front of the building is reminiscent of the classically inspired buildings preserved in the adjacent historic core of the Navy Yard, while the back of the building resembles the lofts and warehouse facilities nearby. The front of the building also features a two-story glass façade to maximize daylight while utilizing angled vanes to reduce glare and shade staff from the low angles of the late afternoon sun.
The morning ribbon cutting began with a ceremonial rendition of the national anthem by the choir of Serviam Girls Academy, based in New Castle, Delaware. Axalta has partnered with Serviam as part of its commitment to STEM education, which includes the Axalta All-Pro Teachers Program with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Philadelphia Science Festival with the Franklin Institute, and several other programs that honor STEM educators and students throughout Greater Philadelphia, North America, and other regions globally.