A newly expanded R&D Centre in Barcelona will enable Hempel to develop and customise products faster, respond to customer needs more efficiently and help customers conform to rapidly changing environmental legislation. Hempel officially opened the new R&D Centre at a ceremony on 13 January 2010.

Coating manufacturer Hempel’s R&D investment programme continues with the expansion of its existing laboratory in Spain. The state-of-the-art facility in Polinyà (Barcelona) previously focused on developing Hempel’s extensive range of antifouling coatings and developing products for Spanish customers. Now, after a EUR 2 million expansion project, the R&D Centre will be able to apply its knowledge to support European businesses with protective, decorative and yacht coatings developed specifically to meet European and country legislation.

Hempel CEO Pierre-Yves Jullien, comments: “Hempel has a long history of strong R&D work that directly benefits our customers – and we have a policy of continuously increasing our R&D capabilities and skills. We are creating centres of excellence around the world. In November last year, we opened a new R&D Centre in Bahrain focused on the decorative segment, and now we can improve our service to decorative, yacht and protective customers around Europe.”

According to Martin Wiese, Hempel Group Vice President R&D, the expanded R&D Centre will ensure that Hempel customers throughout Europe can now benefit from the same expertise and knowledge that has helped Hempel build a market leading position in Spain. 

“We have a strong track record of developing products that meet client needs and specific environmental legislation. This is particularly important in the protective industry, which often involves specific legislation in each country, and increasingly important for customers in the decorative and yacht industries. The R&D Centre in Spain is very experienced in developing specialised product solutions – and we will now be able to offer this service faster to other European customers,” says Martin Wiese.

The expansion will also enable Hempel to expand its International Trainee Programme. Santiago Arias, Hempel’s R&D Regional Development Manager for Europe, Middle East and America explains: “Over the last ten years, the International Trainee Programme has given students from all over the world the chance to develop their skills in a real industry-focused laboratory. It also gives us the chance to work with some of the brightest young minds in the industry. This collaboration has proved very fruitful, and I’m excited to be able to increase the amount of students we can take each year.”

The Polinyà R&D Centre employs 40 people. The expansion was officially opened by Pierre-Yves Jullien at an inauguration ceremony on 13 January 2010. Hempel also has R&D Centres in China, Korea, Singapore, Bahrain, Denmark, Germany and the USA.