Cooper Tire & Rubber Company will develop a Global Technical Center at its Findlay, Ohio headquarters. The $35.5 million facility will be located on the site of its existing North America Technical Center, and is expected to be fully operational by the end of this year.

Cooper said when the worldwide center of excellence for tire science and technology is fully operational it will employ 40 scientists and engineers, many of whom will be in highly specialized technical roles.

At a press event, Cooper Chairman, President and CEO, Roy Armes and Vice President of Global Research and Development, Chuck Yurkovich, said the GTC will have a dedicated research and development team focused on exploring areas such as nanotechnology and new polymers and compounds.

The GTC, which is under the direct leadership of Cooper’s Global Technical Center Director Curt Selhorst, will support Cooper’s NATC as well as the regional technical centers of its subsidiaries including Cooper Tire Asia's Technical Center in Kunshan, China and Cooper Tire Europe's Technical Center in Melksham, England.

“Technology and innovation are critical in the tire industry,” Armes said. “Technology drives the development of new products that deliver improved performance, environmental advantages and safety benefits for today’s drivers. 

Yurkovich added that advanced technologies developed at the GTC will be provided to the companies’ regional technology centers around the world for final product development and industrialization.

“Our focus is on developing ‘ready to use’ advanced technologies that help us expedite the product development cycle and allow Cooper to create innovations in Findlay and deploy them to meet regional customer and market needs around the world,” he said. “We are able to develop and launch world-class products more rapidly each year, while continuing to place an emphasis on enhanced tire performance, lightweight tire materials, rolling resistance and fuel economy, wet and dry grip, and reduced tire and vehicle noise.”

The State of Ohio has committed to $2.8 million Third Frontier Industrial Research and Development Center Program grant.